Coaching And Facilitation Experiences – CREATE without fear, edit without fear

I really love the message portrayed in our featured image for this blog, although I prefer a slight change in it which makes it universally applicable : “CREATE without fear. Edit without fear.” I feel that whenever we are creating something new, something that we want to be deeply inspiring and of great value, we need to create it without letting fear control or halter us. But when it comes to editing and refining it, we should give no mercy to the things that aren’t working, and hold them loosely, so that we can make it better than before.

I’d be careful how I take that saying, however, because I do believe in giving ourselves mercy. Never make the editing of hard work personal. The work itself is under evaluation, not your capability. Give yourself mercy, but edit your work without mercy, so it may become all it could be. 

Not very long ago, I ran a demo workshop for our FutureQUEST Workshop, which has recently been launched. The aim of the workshop is focused around installing a comprehension of resilience, the importance around our reasons for wanting to achieve things and teaching goal strategies that can be of life long use. For this demo workshop I had asked a few friends and connections to attend so that I might run through it and note any creases that need ironing out. 

Although I was prepared for feedback from everyone, I suppose I wasn’t prepared for receiving the very harsh feedback I got from the one person I was closest to in the room

coaching and facilitation experiences

 I found myself taken aback, because I had assumed that because she knew me well that her feedback would be expressed more…diplomatically. Isn’t it funny how harsh feedback received from someone close can be almost harder to swallow? Perhaps if I had received that feedback from somebody I didn’t know too well then I could have taken it with more perspective, instead of absorbing it as the utmost truth, like I did. And I think that’s really the danger of taking feedback or advice from our closest friends, we tend to take it as pure truth.

I walked away from the workshop feeling so despondent that my thought was, “I should just scrap this entire thing and start again."

 A few days after the workshop, I received feedback from others who attended it and to my surprise, received such positive feedback. Perhaps, I thought, I don’t need to scrap the whole thing. Perhaps, it just needs a bit of fine-tuning. Perhaps I shouldn’t have taken my first feedback I received as gospel, and instead should’ve added a pinch of salt to it. 

It’s way too easy to get caught up in somebody’s opinion of yourself or your work, especially when it’s somebody who you trust and whose words you value. I also find that the more you care about the work that is under evaluation, the more tender that feedback is unless you’ve prepared yourself for it. 

Sometimes what they have to say is really valuable, and sometimes it is a bit off the mark, undoubtedly if it is somebody we trust then their intention is genuine. But we mustn’t forget to add the pinch of salt. 

As I contemplated the situation I had found myself in here, and the things I’d learnt, I felt I should be aware of how to respond when I next find myself receiving feedback from someone close to me.

> I’ve realised that no matter how prepared I might be for it in the future, it’s always harder to receive feedback from people close to you because we automatically expect them to be “on our side” or gentler with their words.

> If you really find yourself feeling sour towards the person and their opinion, be quiet… don’t respond straight away, especially if you’re feeling insulted. It often means they’re telling you something you really didn’t want to hear but once you’ve had time to digest their words, you might find it to be true!

> Always remember to assume that this person has your best interest at the heart of this.

> Never forget the 6 Considerations for receiving feedback:

1. Does he/she intend to hurt me? 
2. What is the core meaning or message trying to be portrayed? 
3. Does this person know the situation and me well enough to give this feedback? 
4. Regardless of how valid the feedback is – what am I learning from this? 
5. If I am real with myself, do I perhaps need to hear this? 
6. Be honest: Is any of this feedback maybe true? 

In the end, my friend was right; I did need to flesh out some areas of the workshop and the suggestions of what to include were really valuable. I needed time to receive that and filter out the things that weren’t helpful to me, such as her opinion based off of her own personal space and how she was feeling at that moment, which influenced some of her feedback.

After this workshop, I asked my team if we could meet and run through it. I had a really good idea of the sections I wanted to re-hash and I wanted to turn to my team for their input, feedback and suggestions. This time I was ready for feedback, eager for it, because it meant that I had the opportunity to use it to better my work even further. Sure, I also knew that my team is really good at giving feedback in a positive way, but I still feel that the key to being able to absorb anything hard to hear is preparing yourself for it before hand and holding your piece of work loosely. Not to care less about it, but because if we hold it loosely we give it permission to evolve into something grand.  

And always remember that all feedback is good feedback…everything can be used to colour in the picture and add depth to it, to make it more fantastic than it ever could have been if it were only  coloured in from the frame of one singular mind. Thats the beauty of allowing for edits without mercy. 

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