This week’s special: The Do-Over Sandwich

It’s time again (well past time but more about that below) for aFeedback Sandwich* to end my week. In their short lifespan, they’ve transformed how I think about my week. It’s like a pat on the back, wrapped around a wish. Totally magic.

How was that Nap Sandwich anyway?

Oh, the lovely, lovely Nap Sandwich. So glad I figured that one out. Since I last wrote, naps have been taken and faked, bedtime has happened earlier, wake-up has happened later, overall I have moved past that feeling of exhaustion. I have also had some crazy, in-a-good-way dreams.

The first piece of bread: More good stuff

Besides the extra sleeping and resting, I like love that I let go of something that wasn’t really working for me. I briefly played with offering free 30 minute sessions. I never really announced them, just an oblique reference in my last newsletter. The formal announcement lingered on my to do list. But I never seemed to get to it. When I closed my eyes, put my hand on my heart and checked in with myself? It was clear. I wanted to let it go. That was a hard conclusion to reach. I really wanted a non-scary way for people to learn about my coaching, plus a lot of work went into the administrative set-up. My sadness abated when I realized that I already have the Explore & Play calls, which I adore and are a wonderful way for people to experience me and my coaching.

This whole experience let me to another thing I really liked about my week. I surprised myself with a Secret Play-Date. Since I decided to not do the free sessions anymore, I had to rework the website sign-up system for my You Creating You coaching program. I had been thinking about it for a while, since I accepted my feelings about the free sessions, yet couldn’t figure out how to restructure it. Yesterday, it occurred to me to Play-Date it. I grabbed some post it notes, my favorite scented markers, a big piece of paper and headed to the dining table to spread out and have some fun with it.

Bingo!

Once I got in the play mode, I sorted it out in just minutes. Seriously. The thing that had been twisting up my brain for weeks, was sorted in minutes. All hail the power of the Play Date!

Time for the middle

The biggest way I could make things easier for myself is with a big huge permission for do-overs. Remember do-overs on the school playground? I loved calling do-overs. But at some point, I seemed to have out grown them. And taken on the idea that if I don’t get it right the first time, I might as well stop.

Why Do-Overs?

It happened a couple of times recently. First, I had posted two weekly Feedback Sandwiches, but missed the third. I just didn’t get to it on Friday, and didn’t do it on Saturday either. And them by Sunday I was frustrated that I didn’t do it, and felt like it was too late at that point.

Then the really crazy one. I’ve been writing daily on the website 750words.com since early May. I’ve long wanted to cultivate a daily writing practice, a la the Artist’s Way morning pages but haven’t ever stuck with it for long. But then, thanks to a post from Kylie over at Connection Revolution I wandered over to 750words.com and decided to give it a try.

I found the interface so easy to use and spacious. I loved how it automatically calculated the words and let me know how many I’ve typed, how it automatically saves everything, how I just show up each day and type.

And then I discovered the badges! Who knew that little digital animal pictures could be so addictive and inspiring! I’d written for 38 days in a row (that’s an albatross!) and that’s when tragedy struck. I forgot. It wasn’t like I purposefully didn’t do it or didn’t have internet access or anything. I just plain ol’ forgot to write on what would have been the 39th day in a row.

I was so disappointed. I’d messed up my streak! I fell out of the monthly challenge! I blew it! Well, I guess that’s over.

Wait, what? Yes, that was the thought that occurred to me. I messed up, and so of course I would just quit.

Really?

It wasn’t even like I thought it through. It was just an assumption I made. It haunted me, that my first thoughts were that those 38 days of writing were wasted, and there was no sense in doing anymore since I’d bungled the streak.

Clearly it’s time for a Do Over

Flash back to messing up in Four Square on the playground and hollering do over. And no one blinking an eye. That’s what I would like to have automatically happen. I’m letting my unconscious mind have a little fun with this pattern too, and did Boring Change with it. I’m curious how many other ways the pattern can shift.

And for that final piece of bread

I like how I’m observing my patterns, and writing about them, and allowing them to shift. I love that I remembered to use my own stuff, and the stuff of others, to help me shift the patterns. And mostly I like how I’m approaching this whole thing with curiosity and the willingness to show up, even when I don’t get it right all the time.

* * *

*What’s this about a Sandwich?

Well, yes, I am hungry, but that’s not the kind of sandwich I’m talking about.

This time I’m talking about giving myself a Feedback Sandwich at the end of each week. Or major project. Or milestone. Or, well, you get the idea.

I first learned about this concept in my NLP Trainer’s Training. We were learning to train, which included learning to give feedback that was useful. The basic format of the Feedback Sandwich is:

  • Bread = Compliment, what the person did well, be specific!
  • Meat = Suggestion for improvement
  • Bread = Compliment, this time an overall positive assessment to take into the future.

This Sandwich comes with a warning.

For starters, it’s not necessary to create a Dagwoodian monolith of a feedback sandwich for it to be useful. It’s okay to keep it simple with a small, elegant tea sandwich. Also, I encourage carbo-loading in this case. More bread than fillings!

Another danger of the feedback sandwich is that you start getting programmed to know that criticism follows that first compliment. If I notice that I start to cringe whenever I try to give myself a compliment, I’ll probably look at another way of reviewing my week. Until then, I think with heartfelt review I’ll be just fine.

(If you’re in a position where you need to give feedback to others on a regular basis, you might want to skip the full carbo-lover’s sandwich and try this open-faced revised feedback method instead.)

What’s your feedback sandwich look like for the week?

Please share yours in the comments below, or on the Perception Studios Facebook page.

Photo by Stewf

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