Early Bird Sandwich

It’s time again for my beginning/end-of-the-week Feedback Sandwich*. They transform how I think about my weeks past and future. It’s like a pat on the back, wrapped around a wish. Totally magic. Please, join in and make yourself a sandwich in the comments! Now including updates on the Challenges!

Creating Challenges

Last week started with me taking on a few challenges as I move toward my 45th birthday in March. It completely changed how I moved through the week. I haven’t exactly been in sync with the calendar as we move into 2012. (What January’s nearly over? How could it be?!) These challenges required a certain amount of structure that was, well, challenging.

The first piece of bread: Good stuff

I started the challenges! I must admit that it was pretty nerve-wracking putting the post up, publicly taking on such a variety of challenges. But I did it, and I shared it. And every single one of the challenges I’m taking on, excites me and seems just hard enough that it’ll feel like a big deal accomplishing it. I also did a pretty good job of doing the different challenges, even when it was harder than I expected.

Also, I remembered that injecting a little glitter into my day, makes everything easier. Luckily there was a Society of the Secret Play Date call to remind me. It helped me get a blog post about 2012 written that had been pretty tangled in my head.

Time for the meat in the middle

The days when I did my challenges first thing in the morning, or scheduled them for later in the day, went very smoothly. As opposed to the day when it was dinnertime and I realized I still had 45 minutes of moving and 45 minutes of stillness to fit into the remainder of the evening. And I was beat tired already.

And for that final piece of bread

I really enjoy the structure and accountability the challenges are bringing to my days. I suspect they are also responsible in large part for the amazing creativity and sleeping I’ve been doing in the past week!

Here’s the overview, thanks to Joe’s Goals:

* * *

*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 NLP practitioners, which included learning to give useful feedback. 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.

Robin on a Fence photo by KCZooFan

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