If you honestly tried this week’s challenge, you probably haven’t forgotten the results. Worst case scenario, your tongue is bleeding from how much you’ve been biting it after saying, “Thanks for the feedback”.
So let’s talk about why on earth we asked you to start with ‘thank you’. Anytime you receive feedback, even and especially when you don’t ask for it, just say, “Thanks for the feedback.”
Because probably one of two things happened:
1. You had to take way more feedback than you wanted.
2. You didn’t receive any feedback at all.
Now everyone may want the second result, but little do they know that the second is much harder to deal with than the first.
Remember that feedback can range from body signals to vocal commentaries.
As a supervisor, or even someone responsible as a charge nurse for the unit that day, it is possible that negative vocal feedback will rarely come your way. As a doctor in residency or a nurse just starting out, were you quick to criticize leadership? Probably not. Or you wouldn’t be where you are.
However, a true leader is a seeker of improvement, and unless it’s the smoke alarm going off from what you’re cooking, feedback almost always requires a living breathing human. It’s your job to let them know you’re human too.
So this week’s challenge was laying the foundation to be someone that people feel comfortable giving feedback to, without having their jobs on the line. There is a massive power differential within the hierarchical world of medicine. And even though that is slowly changing, it is still very present. However, a way to lessen that is to use the powerful four words: “Thanks for the feedback”.
Also a reminder – the weekends are a perfect time to practice these challenges.
The superb source behind many of these ideas is the book Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heene.