I want to give credit to Daniel Bauer for the five lessons I will share. In these lessons, I will share my input as well. We will cover them in several steps. These are the Lessons he shared in his email:
Lesson 1: All feedback isn’t quality feedback.
- Lesson 1: All feedback isn’t quality feedback.
- Lesson 2: No matter what, follow your “true north.”
- Lesson 3: The obstacle is the way.
- Lesson 4: You reap what you sow.
- Lesson 5: Blindspots exist. It would be best if you got connected.
“Brené Brown talks about the square squad. It’s a simple idea: write all the names representing people whose opinions you value on one-inch by one-inch piece of paper. You can’t fit many names on this size of paper. That’s the point. As a leader, many people will offer their opinions and judge your choices. So what. Most of their opinions don’t matter, even when that person is your supervisor! That said, your supervisor’s opinion can (and will often) impact your job. But that doesn’t make their feedback accurate or helpful. You don’t need to take it to heart.”-Daniel Bauer, author of MasterMind, Unlocking Talent Within Every School
Danny begins by referring to Brené Brown. She has dedicated several pieces to conversations of feedback. Hard conversations are never easy. I have said many times, doing the dance! We can choose the kind of dance style we want to set the tone of our conversations depending on the type of conversation, but in the end we have to give a big finish. What do we do after the feedback is provided?
“Weigh the feedback, and if it seems to “come out of nowhere” and is an outlier from the feedback you are receiving from other sources, please do not listen for your health! Trust the feedback you get from your square squad. Those people will challenge you and also want to see you succeed. The rest you can throw out, especially if it doesn’t align with the feedback you are receiving from trusted sources.”-Daniel Bauer
My life journey is full of many great experiences, beautiful celebrations, tragic losses, and challenges. It is like most lives, I believe. Our stories may contain different characters, twists, and storylines, but in the end, they equal lessons learned and blessings. At times, it may not look like it seems.
Danny received feedback from his supervisor consistently that was negative. What if you barely received feedback, it varied or when you were scheduled to receive it….the supervisor was a no show? What messages does this kind of feedback demonstrate?
The bottom line is your supervisor is in control of your evaluation and renewing a contract. Even if you dislike the feedback you are receiving, what do you do? In Danny’s case he resigned. In my case, it went a little different, but I did finally resign.
I have been known to bite off more than I can chew and take on more and more and….. I would say Okay instead of No way. For good reasons, it was for those I served: children, families, staff, and the community. Where resources were lacking, I wanted to find ways to fill them. I like to “fix everything” and always want to help others more than myself.
In 2010, I suffered the most horrific accident imaginable. It left me with a traumatic brain injury and a list of deficiencies. The accident included my daughter, granddaughter, and best friend. We all survived, and it was a miracle! My injuries were too much for me to accept, so I did not. I fought it for almost five years, approximately how long it takes for your brain to heal. I am thankful for my medical team, my bosses at the time, my supportive staff, my family, and most importantly, God for his healing.
Over the years, my diagnosis never changed. It has always remained the same. I met regularly with my medical team, and my medications stayed the same. The leadership in our district began to shift. When this occurred, I did fine at first, but the added duties continued to pile on, and the stress level increased. I was no longer kept in the loop, communications were not happening, and my medical team saw a significant change.
My body did not like this, and migraines hit hard. Blood Pressure increased to levels my doctor one day said, “You are at stroke level,” as they started an IV to treat the migraine and lower my blood pressure. Chest pains were the following symptom. Failure of the EKG testing resulted in calling in the cardiology team. Now I needed to make my boss aware.
I phoned my boss; the boss said come over to my office to talk. I arrived in less than five minutes, and the boss was a no-show. I asked the secretary where she was. Oh, she had to leave to pick up her son. Did she tell you she called me over to talk to her? No, I walked over to the Human Resource Director’s Office and explained what had happened. I told her I would text her to let her know I had come over as she asked. Then after I sent the text, she called.
“I will come back to talk to you if you need me to.” Oh, that is fine. I just wanted to let you know I had failed an EKG and now we were going to do some further testing, and they were taking me off all of my medications for now. Then nothing was ever mentioned again.
The story does not end there for Danny or me. What do you do in situations when you get feedback, no feedback, or feedback you do not understand?
Share about your experiences with feedback. You are receiving and Giving. Why is feedback important?