Yesterday we completed our NLP Trainer’s Training. Our students had studied hard and successfully passed three days of tough assessments including a written exam, two presentations and two demonstrations! They were and are all magnificent! Well done everyone.
Reflecting on why they were so successful it became clear to me that one of the major factors was their ability to choose their responses. This two week intensive workshop involves giving the students a lot of direct feedback on their performance and how they present themselves to students.
Some people received very personal feedback about unhelpful behaviours and even about clothing choices. What made them so successful was their ability to gracefully receive their feedback, reflect on it and where necessary make changes.
Feedback is often one of the hardest things to accept from others. For some, low self-esteem can create a need to be defensive. This defensiveness can block us from stepping to the next level and it is when we choose to reframe feedback that many of our biggest breakthroughs can occur.
For me personally this was a big block. If someone gave me feedback about pretty much anything I would take it very personally. My feelings would be hurt, I’d cry and sometimes lash out in defence. Alternatively I would withdraw sometimes from all contact with that person. I would feel humiliated.
This would happen even when the other person had delivered the feedback elegantly and with love.
My breakthrough happened in a simple and unusual way. It came from a throw away comment from a woman I met on a workshop. I was taking my MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) Practitioner training and I met a woman who had a different profile from mine. I really liked her and found her fun if a little provocative.
Her comment that reframed my whole feedback experience was simple and short. She said:
“Feedback is just data.
You analyse it and decide what you want to do with it.”
Really? It’s that simple? Yes it is!
From that moment on whenever I received feedback my internal experience was calm and reflective. I take it in, analyse it and decide my course of action. With feedback there is always choice.
Firstly, do I agree or disagree?
Just because someone gives us feedback does not mean it’s true. Sometimes it is more about the other person than you. If you get the same feedback from a number of people it is worth considering.
If I agree what do I want to do about it? Again we have choice:
- Do nothing, while agreeing I might not feel it is worth changing or even needing to change. I just need to accept the consequences if there are any of not changing. Or maybe I agree with the feedback but don’t see it as a problem. For example, I am sometimes told that I give too much away to my students and readers. I agree I do share of myself however my life purpose is to inspire and support others so sometimes I do” give away” my knowledge. I’m comfortable with that.
- Partially change based on the feedback. I received some feedback when I first started writing this blog that my posts were too long. I have shortened them a little but as I write partly for pleasure I decided not take the advice fully. I was told to do a sound bite only and link to a site where people had to pay to read more. This didn’t fit with my values so I let it go.
- Make a bigger change by acting on the feedback one hundred percent. An example for me happened about some marketing materials I was using. An electrician I was using picked up one of my brochures and looked at my photograph on it. He then said; “That photo doesn’t do you any favours does it?” In the past when my self esteem was low this kind of comment would have devastated me however this time I looked at the picture with an objective view. He was right it was an awful picture! I changed it right away!
Next week I will talk about how we learn to manage our internal state so that we can take feedback less personally giving us the freedom to make a choice about our responses.
I am running a hypnotherapy training programme starting on 17th August in East Sussex. I still have some places, it would be great if you could join me. For more information go to my main website
I’d like to take a moment here to thank my co-trainers on the NLP Trainer’s Training, my lovely husband, Joe Cheal (NLP Master Trainer) and Julie Silverthorn, (USA NLP Master Trainer). Julie as ever you are an inspiration to me. Thanks also to Nicky McNeill and Anne Clube for your brilliant work as assistants, without you we could not have done so well. And to our students, go out and shine as the stars I know you are.