Hungry for change? Try a Feedback Sandwich.

Last week I wrote about riding my first 100+ mile bike ride.

Guess what? I did it! I survived the ride and even made my goal time (eight hours total – seven hours riding time).

It’s funny, how after you do something that feels so monumental, everything just goes back to normal. Well, except for the little pains. The tiredness. But life just goes on. You have these big milestones, or 100 of them as the case may be, and then you just keep on going with your normal life.

Can you keep it alive?

I don’t want to get stuck living the glory days or anything, but I’d love to take it forward with me. One thing that would do that is to take a minute and think about why it was important.

  • What made it monumental.
  • What did I learn about myself.
  • What did I learn about others.
  • What did I learn that are things I want to do more of.
  • What did I learn are things I want less of.
  • What inspires more exploration and experimentation?

Time for 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 a Feedback Sandwich.

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.

So for Reach the Beach, I would say I liked how I caught my negative self-talk and reversed it and did lots of building up and cheering on of myself. The biggest improvement would come from more training. Overall I’m really proud that I tried something I wasn’t sure I could do, much less do well.

It’s nice to have a little snapshot of the experience like that. And, I think it will also help me with future events. Because if I had to do the same thing for the half marathon I ran in April it would be pretty similar:

I liked how enjoyed the race and really experienced it as I was doing it. The biggest improvement would come from knowing my limits better, through more training, so I wouldn’t have held myself back. Overall, I was thrilled with the fact that I went out and did it and had fun.

Oh look, a pattern.

Recognizing this pattern, for my next event I signed up for a training group, Team in Training. I’ll be training with them to run the Portland Marathon in October.

Bringing it back to business

See how well this helped me with these physical challenges, I thought it could be helpful as I navigate the business side of my life coaching practice.

Weekly Sandwiches!

As I wrap up each week, I’ll share with you my Feedback Sandwich.

Here is this week’s:

I especially like how I noticed a need with someone and just stepped in and helped out as best I could. I’ve noticed that sometimes, something occurs to me, and I will ruminate on it, run possible scenarios through my head, try to decide if it really will be helpful and if I really can do it. In this case, someone was having a problem, I offered a solution and it all worked out wonderfully.

My office is CLUTTERED. Right now I have the remnants of two playdates, a stack of mail, a bag from the weekend and other various and sundry items cluttering up my office. I’m sure that if my environment is more clear my mind will be too.

Overall, I’m especially happy how I was able to refocus when distracted repeatedly through out the week, especially in coming back to doing a playdate, even after missing the official time.

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 credit: sandwich assembly line by EvelynGiggles

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