R&R Sandwich

It’s my beginning/end-of-the-week Feedback Sandwich*. 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! (Plus, updates on the Challenges!)

Habits for Asking

Turns out that to do this really effectively, I need to have two weeks of my planning pages available at a time! I’ve gotten in the habit (yay habit!) of printing out each week’s pages on Friday to prepare for the coming week. But to have a space to remind myself to ask for help during all the scheduled support calls I have? Must have the place to do it!

This is leading me to a change in how I plan my days/weeks, and I’m excited about working with it for awhile. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about this soon.

First Piece of Bread: Specific Good Stuff

I loved reading Andrea’s post, One Million Amazing Discoveries, about how the most recent Explore & Play call inspired her. It’s truly one of my most favorite things to hear how people take what I’m teaching and use it in their own lives and businesses.

I noticed that I spent a fair amount of time worrying recently. I spoke at an event and worried if my planned talk would be most useful to the attendees. I wrapped up a month-long Mountaineering First Aid course and worried about whether I’d be able to pass the written and practical tests. The test was on Mt. Hood, during a snowstorm and I worried if I’d be able to get home, so I could speak the next day.

Seems like this might fit in the Meat in the Middle part of the sandwich, except I was thrilled with how I met the worry. Each time I noticed the worry, I reminded myself what it was I really wanted to be paying attention to (hint: not the future!) and gave it my full attention.

Now, I didn’t do this in a Pollyanna-ish, everything’s going to be fine way. Instead, when I noticed a worry, I spent a few moments thinking through my options, paying particular attention to what could make things go more smoothly in the future. Then, I let it go and turned my attention back to what was happening at that moment.

With the snowstorm, I knew that it would be much easier if I left early enough to check the conditions, and get out of the snow zone while it was still light. Other than that, there wasn’t much to do. With the talk, I prepared and let it go. Same with the test.

These things still crossed my mind throughout the day. But the difference was that instead of spending time doing unproductive worrying, you know the crazy catastrophe-laden what if scenarios, when I noticed the worry, I asked myself two questions:

  • Has anything changed?
  • Do I need to reassess my plan?

Answering those questions let’s me return again to what’s important in the moment.

Meat in the Middle: The Stretch

Scheduling in rest and recovery time, particularly when I have a packed weekend is hugely important. And by scheduling in, I don’t mean, saying to myself, “I should take a little rest time,” because that is like handing a bullhorn to the voices of Not Enough Time and Too Much To Do. Rather, actually writing it down in my calendar, really, and truly blocking out time on my schedule.

Final Piece of Bread: What I want to take into the coming week

Staying present, by changing that worry habit (and that’s really what it is, a habit) I felt like I was in the flow and enjoying some wonderful spontaneity. I also had a lot of in-person connection recently, and sometimes I forget how much I love it. That’s something I’m definitely taking into the future as I make dates to get together with friends and colleagues, and start planning an in-person workshop with my friend and collaborator Janine Adams.

Curious about the birthday challenges?

Here’s the challenge progress, thanks to Joe’s Goals:

Looks like I have a lot of random love note writing to do!

* * *

*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.

Photo: Rest when you’re weary… by katerha via flickr


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