Expressing gratitude, part 2

Most of the people that I work with do great work most of the time. (No, this is not about to turn into a back-handed compliment.) That means they make a few mistakes, or do a few things where I feel feedback would be helpful. Abitrarily, let’s say 90% of their work is good, and there’s 10% that I think could be improved.

…and so I start providing feedback on that 10%.

What does the other person experience? 100% negative feedback from me!

It doesn’t matter how good I might get at delivering great feedback, and helping them improve. If the only feedback I give is on the 10% of their work that I feel could be improved… ouch!

Instead, I need to think about the entirety of that person’s work. My feedback should be roughly in the same proportions as their work. This enables me to convey both the direct pieces of feedback and my assessment of the ratio in the whole. Continuing with the 90%/10% example, I should be giving vastly more positive reinforcement. That other person should be hearing vast amounts of positive feedback. This is not limited to people who work “for” you. This can be applied to everyone you have regular contact with and is relatd to my earlier post about, “if you see something, say something.”

There is a benefit for myself as well: If I’m only giving negative feedback, (focusing on that 10% as it were,) then it’s going to feel as if everything I encounter all day is negative. If I instead focus on increasing my ability to first notice that 90% of everything is great stuff, and then communicate that outwardly to the others, then it’s going to feel as if everything I encounter all day is positive. Since focusing on the negative stuff is one of my biggest problems, this is fertile ground indeed.

What’s your perception of what you encounter and does the feedback you give reflect that?


Novice and Expert Learners

There are two important takeaways from this idea. The first is that this is a sliding scale not a pair of absolutes. Almost everyone sits somewhere between. Secondly, by virtue of their position, teachers coaches and educators will always be experts. They have deep domain specific knowledge about an issue and understand it in a very different manner from the novice learners they are invariably teaching.

~ John “Hedge” Hall

I am not a parkour coach. But John most definitely is. He gave a wonderfully lucid and thought-provoking discussion at the last Art of Retreat which has left a permanent idea/mark/lesson in my mind about the “journey” each of us goes through in our learning process. (Just because I feel I learned the lesson, doesn’t mean I’m necessarily any good at passing it along.)

Anyway, John has a lot of really good thoughts on inclusivity in practice!


Good coaches

In contrast, a transformational coach realizes the power of the coaching platform to inspire, motivate, and produce positive change in his or her followers. He or she is acutely mindful of the moral, social, emotional, and psychological needs of young people. Transformational coaches offer individual support and encouragement to each player and have a clear vision for the desired impact on their players’ lives. And not surprisingly, a transformational coach, even in organized athletics, allows and encourages young people to simply play.

Joe Ehrmann