8.2. Receiving feedback
1. Prepare The first key to receiving good feedback, or coaching/mentoring, is good preparation. The clearer you can state your case and your concern, the more likely you are to receive useful feedback. Define your actual concern: not ‘the whole project’, but one particular aspect of it that you personally find problematic or challenging Formulate 1-3 things you would like to improve Ask yourself whether there is anything about the problematical situation that you DON’T want to change – that you find really positive 2. Before the session Think about your ambition or objective for the session. What is the best you might achieve? Perhaps you can also identify an acceptable minimum? Put yourself in the right frame of mind. The other person or people are there to support you. Be ready to make the most of the time they are giving you. Think in advance about how you will take notes, and what you will do to follow up. 3. Listen! A feedback session is not a conversation. It is a focused dialogue, with one person at a time speaking and the other(s) listening. When you are the one receiving feedback, you have the principal responsibility to direct the dialogue – that is, to say what you want (and need) to
say as briefly and precisely as possible. When the other(s) speak, you need to listen carefully, e g by Deep Listening. You do not respond unless there seems to be a misunderstanding, and above all: there is no need to argue or defend yourself. Listening is the key. Take notes – or, even better, ask one of your respondents to take notes for you. 4. Thank! At the end of the session, remember to thank your respondents! They are there to support you to see your own way more clearly.
A guide for leaders of workshops for comics for sustainable development