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Feedback or Feedforward?

2015. 12. 13.
Anna Jankovich
Anna Jankovich
Coaching Transitions
0 comment(s)

feedforwardlogo

Feedback or Feedforward?

‘Tis the season for employers and employees to sit down and assess their year’s performance, establish goals for next year, evaluate what worked or did not work, share tips on improvements and hopefully celebrate as well.  The same holds true for children and students who sit down with their parents and share their report cards, following a similar pattern to businesses.

Usually, when one hears the word “feedback”, there is a dissonance.  There is an initial “oh,oh” reaction both from the givers and receivers and as helpful as it is, many of us struggle with how to present it properly or how to accept it effectively.  “Feedback” should be constructive, not destructive, it’s not an attack, it’s a gift.  So as a different perspective, why not call it “feedforward?”  That word has resonance.

As a new service this year, Coaching Transitions launched a series of workshops on a variety of topics. After each workshop, I ask all my participants for their “feedforward” and created a “Feedforward Form.” I can’t go back and change anything, but I can listen to their suggestions and remarks and plan forward.

Giving and receiving this gift is an important part of communication, be it at home, at work or anywhere else.  How it is communicated is as important and here are some of my Coaching tools that you may find valuable.

Six Tools for giving “Feedforward”

  1. Equals: speak to each other as equals, on the same level, as partners. You both want a “win-win” situation.
  2. Timing: let people know ahead of time and allocate proper time.  Have all your info ready and resources available.  Do not rush.
  3. Behaviors: who is an extravert and who is an introvert?  We don’t all react in the same way. You need to adjust your tone, your voice, your body language, your words to every character type.  Know your character types.
  4. Space: give them space to listen, digest, think, speak and ask any questions they may have.
  5. Curious: ask them what they want, what they need for improvement, how do they see it, “what if?” All this makes brainstorming together easier and strengthens partnership.
  6. Praise: we all like to feel valued and appreciated.

Six Tools for receiving “Feedforward”

  1. Listen: do not interrupt and listen to everything being said. If you are thinking of what to answer back, you’re not listening.
  2. Notes: take notes for clarity and circle keywords as reference.
  3. Patience: be patient, remain calm, breathe.
  4. Notice Your Body: what message is your body language giving?  How are you sitting? Are your arms crossed? How does your face feel? Your heart beat?
  5. Ask Questions: this helps you pin down specifics.
  6. Acknowledge: it does not mean you agree with everything that was said, but that you are recognizing that the person has taken the time for you and simply thank them.

What gift do you want to give or receive?  “Feedback” or “feedforward?”

 

Always nice to hear from followers who share their thoughts. Keep them coming at coaching@annajankovich.com and follow me for weekly inspirations on https://www.facebook.com/lifecoachannajankovich/. Wishing everyone happy holidays and a healthy new year!

Empowerment in an Argument

2015. 11. 16.
Anna Jankovich
Anna Jankovich
Coaching Transitions
0 comment(s)

Empowerment and Mindfulness

images

“How to keep calm in an argument is one of those lessons in life we should have been taught in school,” a client of mine said, as he struggled with a colleague at work.  Helas, most of us find out the hard way by actually not keeping calm and letting the argument spiral downwards leading to a negative outcome.

His remark struck an instant cord with me, as I have been one of these emotional, lashing-out types, which I have blamed on my Russian blood and my French impatience (need to blame it on something!).  When I flared up,  I was convinced of what I was saying and the louder I got, the more I thought my message would be stronger.  Then a few years ago, at the same time I was discovering Coaching and understanding mindfulness, I was on the receiving end and being lashed out at.  I was struck by the nastiness of it and actually felt empathy for that person.  I began seeing an argument from another angle.

Arguments can happen anywhere; work, home, families, taxis, shops, airports, restaurants and in any language.  Arguments don’t work; they are destructive, negative, exhausting, emotional, unresolved, hurtful and SUCH A WASTE OF TIME!

Take a moment and think back at an argument you had and remember that feeling. Step into it – what was your body language? How did you sound? What emotions were stirring?

Coaching has helped many of us in the last years, to look at an argument from a different angle. Instead of the familiar “emotional, lashing out perspective,” I now automatically choose the “calm perspective.”  On the rare occasion I feel a heated discussion rising, I am immediately aware of my own being and I know how I want to be.  I am mindful.

Here are 8 Mindfulness Tools to Empower You:

  1. Breathing: this gives you a few seconds to be calm, listen and gather your thoughts.
  2. Listening: if you are thinking what is the next thing you want to say, then you are not listening.
  3. Hearing: Hear your own words and listen consciously to what you are saying.
  4. Never Shout: when shouting you lose control and it is hard to think clearly.
  5. Body Language: stay open like your mind, sit/stand grounded, look at the person in the eyes, avoid crossed arms, frowning, pointing, keep your focus on them                                                                                                                             (TIP: if looking in the eyes is difficult for you, look in between the other person’s eyes…it looks as though you are staring right at them, but you are not!)
  6. Avoid Scolding: insults are the ultimate tool of ignorance!
  7. Space: hold that space to let the other “get it all out.”
  8. Drop Your Ego: forget your ego and aim for a “win-win” situation, which could be compromise

Two More Things to Remember:

  • Don’t use a present argument to list all the misconducts from the past, do you want to be dragged back in the past?
  • Lashing out is a way of someone expressing how they really feel and shows a total lack of self-control. By staying calm, YOU empower yourself.

Who do you want to be in your next argument?  Any comments or thoughts, feel free to email me at coaching@annajankovich.com

 

 

Keeping a New Year’s resolution year round

2015. 01. 04.
Anna Jankovich
Anna Jankovich
Coaching Transitions
0 comment(s)

3

 

Day 7 of 2015 and probably “so far so good” with your New Year’s resolutions. You are feeling good, disciplined, and on the right track.  What happens to you next Monday when you are back in your second week at work, driving children to school again and plunging into a familiar routine?  How do you plan to keep this optimism going for longer than a few more days or weeks or a month? If you are Orthodox, you get a second chance next week, if you are not, maybe a good time to tweak your resolution?

Resolutions are about priorities and as we all know, we need to prioritise in order to reach our goals.  Through Life Coaching, I have really learned and understood this process and especially, to notice the impact multitasking has on me and my surroundings.  What happens to you when you are doing too much at once?  What do you notice?

My signals are clear; sore shoulders and neck, my posture slouches, I lose eye contact with whoever I am speaking, I eat too fast, I don’t smile, my answers are brief and I become quite bitchy – not good for anyone!  What are your signals?

When juggling all your balls, you need to decide which one matters the most, just like in Life Coaching.   You don’t want to just check a box after a workout or after drinking 1 litre of water or after having made small talk with a colleague, so you can feel good about yourself.  Or maybe you do?

Do you want a REAL long lasting change with a clear impact?

Here are my 7 suggestions for REALLY keeping a resolution:

  1. Meaningful Goal: choose what you really want and ask yourself a few times why you really want it?  For your children, grandchildren, your team, your company?
  2. Positivity: if your goal is positive, it will be easier to manage it during more challenging times as you know the positive outcome it will have.
  3. Focus: on the action and progress and not on the result.  Take small steps everyday and be consistent.  Notice that impact on you and how you process it.
  4. Present: be present in this moment, now.
  5. Saboteur: notice when your Inner Critic, your Saboteur, creeps us (read more http://annajankovich.com/2014/10/saboteur/). Saboteurs love good plans, ideas, goals and will do anything to get in the way and tell you, you can’t do it!
  6. Captain: we all have an Inner Authority, a Captain, (read more http://annajankovich.com/2014/10/captain/ ) who helps keep us on track. Who is your Captain?
  7. Accountability:  in Life Coaching, accountability is key and I hold all my clients accountable for their chosen actions.  Share your goal with someone and ask them to hold you accountable.

The choice is yours. Pick just one ball and focus on it and imagine where you will be in 3 months, 6 months and 1 year from now. How will that look like and feel like?

Any thoughts or comments, contact me at coaching@annajankovich.com

 

Feedback: What Do You Do With That Gift?

2014. 12. 07.
Anna Jankovich
Anna Jankovich
Coaching Transitions
0 comment(s)

feedback

How do you react to feedback?   Do you accept it, flee it or fight it?

This is the time of the year where evaluations and bonuses take place in companies, report cards from schools come home and many couples, families and friends reconnect by sharing thoughts and feedback with each other.

Years ago, on the receiving end of feedback, I remember feeling anxious, insecure, developing sweaty hands, heart beat racing.  On the outside, I tried to come across confident, had answers ready to questions I did not know and wanted to appear in control.

Few years later on the giving end, time was my challenge, my attitude was more top to bottom, I gave little space to the other and did not acknowledge enough. Then, I felt I had managed a good evaluation.

We all grow with years and experience but now, as a Life Coach, I have tools I wish I had had back then, as I received and gave feedback.

Just like in Life Coaching, the aim of feedbacks is to achieve goals, to look forward and to get what you want.  You are open for change and improvement.  It is not about personality but about behaviour. It is not about looking back, re-assessing and giving both sides negative energy.  Feedback is constructive, not destructive, it’s not an attack, it’s a gift.

Perspectives play quite a role in feedback. How you see something or someone is not necessarily how the other person sees it.  When we are in a perspective on an issue, we have an opinion, an assumption and expectations. A perspective is a powerful filter that allows us to see things a certain way.  If something is not part of that perspective, it is invisible or invalid and that can be very limiting and this is where you can help.

Giving and receiving feedback is an important part of communication, be it at home, at work or anywhere else.  How it is communicated is as important and here are some of my Life Coaching tools that you may find valuable.


Six Tools for GIVING feedback:

  1. Equals: speak to each other as equals, on the same level, as partners. You both want a “win-win” situation.
  2. Timing: let people know ahead of time and allocate proper time.  Have all your info ready and resources available.  Do not rush.
  3. Behaviours: who is an Extravert and who is an Introvert?  We don’t all react in the same way. You need to adjust your tone, your voice, your body language, your words to every character type.  Know your character types.
  4. Space: give them space to listen, digest, think, speak and ask any questions they may have.
  5. Curious: ask them what they want, what they need for improvement, how do they see it, “what if?” All this makes brainstorming together easier and strengthens partnership.
  6. Praise: we all like to feel valued and appreciated.

 Six Tools for RECEIVING feedback:

  1. Listen: do not interrupt and listen to everything being said. If you are thinking of what to answer back, you are not listening.
  2. Notes: take notes for clarity and circle keywords as reference.
  3. Patience: be patient, remain calm, breathe.
  4. Notice Your Body: what message is your body language giving?  How are you sitting? Are your arms crossed? How does your face feel? Your heart beat?
  5. Ask Questions: this helps you pin down specifics.
  6. Acknowledge: it does not mean you agree with everything that was said, but that you are recognising that the person has taken the time for you and simply thank them.

So with your next feedback, give it and take it as a gift. What will you do with that gift?


“ We need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” Bill Gates

How to Feel Empowered in an Argument

2014. 11. 30.
Anna Jankovich
Anna Jankovich
Coaching Transitions
0 comment(s)

“How to keep calm in an argument is one of those lessons in life we should have been taught in school,” a client of mine recently said, as he struggled with a colleague at work.  Helas, most of us find out the hard way by actually not keeping calm and letting the argument spiral downwards leading to a negative outcome.

keep-calm-and-feel-empowered

His remark struck an instant cord with me, as I have been one of these emotional, lashing-out types, which I have blamed on my Russian blood and my French impatience (need to blame it on something!).  When I flared up,  I was convinced of what I was saying and the louder I got, the more I thought my message would be stronger.  Then a few years ago, at the same time I was discovering Life Coaching, I was on the receiving end and being lashed out at.  I was struck by the nastiness of it and actually felt empathy for that person.  I began seeing an argument from another angle.

Arguments can happen anywhere; work, home, families, taxis, shops, airports, restaurants and in any language.  Arguments don’t work; they are destructive, negative, exhausting, emotional, unresolved, hurtful and SUCH A WASTE OF TIME!

Take a moment and think back at an argument you had and remember that feeling. Step into it – what was your body language? How did you sound? What emotions were stirring?

Life Coaching has helped many of us tremendously in the last years to look at an argument from a different angle. Instead of the familiar “emotional, lashing out perspective,” I now automatically choose the “calm perspective.”  On the rare occasion I feel a heated discussion rising, I am immediately aware of my own being and I know how I want to be.

Here are 10 Tools to Help Keep You Calm 

  1. Breathing: this gives you a few seconds to be calm, listen and gather your thoughts.
  2. Listening: if you are thinking what is the next thing you want to say, then you are not listening.
  3. Hearing: Hear your own words and listen consciously to what you are saying.
  4. Never Shout: when shouting you lose control and it is hard to think clearly.
  5. Body Language: stay open like your mind, sit/stand grounded, look at the person in the eyes, avoid crossed arms, frowning, pointing, keep your focus on them                                                                                                                             (TIP: if looking in the eyes is difficult for you, look in between the other person’s eyes…it looks as though you are staring right at them, but you are not!)
  6. Avoid Scolding: insults are the ultimate tool of ignorance!
  7. Space: hold that space to let the other “get it all out.”
  8. Drop Your Ego: forget your ego and aim for a “win-win” situation, which could be compromise
  9. Your Captain (read more http://annajankovich.com/2014/10/captain/): what is your inner authority telling you?
  10. Permission: ask permission to not be interrupted while you speak

 

Two More Things to Remember:

  • Don’t use a present argument to list all the misconducts from the past, do you want to be dragged back in the past?
  • Lashing out is a way of someone expressing how they really feel and shows a total lack of self-control. By staying calm, YOU empower yourself.

Who do you want to be in your next argument?

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