System Sandwiches All Around!

It’s time again for 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!)

Routine Revelations

As I’ve shared over the last couple of weeks, these birthday challenges have me bumping up against my dislike of daily routine. And then I had a revelation.

Yesterday when I set off for a run, I thought about how far I wanted to go and generally speaking what kind of experience I wanted to have. I chose one of the regular routes I normally run, and set off. It soon occurred to me how nice it was to not have to think about where I was going. I wasn’t necessarily locked in, I could always vary the route a bit, and still end up with about the same distance.

I started thinking about this as I was running, I have a number of routes that I normally run. I choose based on what I want out of that particular run. A quick one or maybe some outdoor intervals? I head to Laurelhurst Park. A medium length run? Either up Tabor or down to the river. More than 10 miles? The longer river loop I did yesterday that can be easily adjusted to between 10 and 12 miles.

It occurred to me that I do this with all my rides, hikes and climbs. Which is not to say that I don’t try new routes, or vary things once I start, I do, and enjoy that too. But, I have my favorite standbys. There’s a certain amount of ease and spaciousness in having a plan up front, not having to figure things out on the fly. That is the quality of routine and planning I want to bring into my daily practices that are developing as part of these challenges.

First Piece of Bread: Specific Good Stuff

Ironically my love of flexibility (and one of the biggest perks of being self-employed) was a big win this week. My mom took a fall and I was able to reschedule a couple of things and go to the doctor with her.  It was great to hear with my own ears everything is okay.

Zumba! It’s crazy, how much I enjoy this class. As I mentioned on Facebook, I do not understand why I love Zumba so much. I’ve only been to two classes, only manage about half of the actual steps, it makes me sore in places I didn’t know could be sore, and when I stop staring at the teacher’s feet long enough to notice myself in the mirror, I look ridonkulous. And yet, I’m checking the schedules of multiple gyms to see how often and when I can go.

Really great client epiphanies. Pretty much the best thing ever.

Meat in the Middle: The Stretch

Being more prepared would make that unplanned time away from work go more easily. The crazy thing is, I have this amazing system that I started dabbling with more than a year ago, and really honed last fall during Maryann’s class Why Not Now. I supplemented it with extra brilliance from Cairene, and it’s been evolving ever since.

But all that amazingness isn’t worth anything if I’m not using it. When I use it, it’s easy for me to stay on top of the things that must be done, and safely hold the things that can wait a bit.

I recognize that not using it every day is part of that resistance to daily routine. I also know that resistance isn’t always as bad as it seems.

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

These challenges are helping me grow in ways I didn’t expect. I really like how I’m continuing to learn from them and make adjustments based on what I learn. Using a Kaizen approach, which dovetails very nicely with One Thing at a Time.

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

I have some ideas for Random Loves Notes I’ll be posting later this week. You can see them on the Perception Studios Facebook page. Also, check out the 45×45 Coaching sessions. I’d love for you to be one of the 45.

* * *


*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: cogs by kevinzim from flickr
Interesting note: When I went to flickr to find a photo for this post, the first thing that came up was this image. Its from a mining museum in a small village in Wales, called Blaenavon. I actually stayed there for a few days a couple of decades ago! Not the mine, although we visited that, but in the village with a lovely couple who were the parents of the husband of a friend of my mom’s.

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