Raising Issues

This has been created for raising issues in a share house but it can apply to other circumstances of working together. To some it can sound a bit serious but it’s worth raising from the beginning. With regular house checkin it’s likely nothing this serious will need to be raised. These tips could be handy in other parts of life and I certainly have benefited a lot from them. If by some chance something serious needs to be raised these are some tips but feel free to do it your own way…

Some pointers on giving negative feedback

The most important part of this process is to work out what part of this feedback you want to give comes from issues you need to work on yourself. Journaling about your feelings is a good place to start.

(Clearness Booklet by New Society Publishers – summarised/altered)

  • Be firm and direct
  • Be as clear and specific as possible
  • Raise one issue at this time (not everything at once)
  • Own your feelings “When you do…… I feel……, because……”
  • Acknowledge your part in the problem – feelings and actions of your that get in the way or contribute to the problem
  • Affirm the person when sincerely possible. Think of things your do like or appreciate about them, ways they act in the group or towards you. Do this as close to the beginning of the conversation as possible.
  • Leave space for the other person’s feelings, listen to them and try to separate content issue from feelings. You can also say when you have heard enough
  • Be prepared for their feedback to you
  • Be prepared for them not to agree as some time it takes people time to process negative feedback
  • Be clear about what you will and will not negotiate on
  • Practice ahead of time. Find someone you trust to say it too and see if it makes sense. If it is scary role play a couple of times.
  • Ask for a third person to join you if needed. Someone who the person receiving feedback will feel comfortable with and invite them to bring someone you would feel comfortable with???

Since we are opening the floor up for honest communication I thought I’d get prepared for receiving negative feedback myself… here is what I have found.

Some pointers on receiving negative feedback

(http://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2010/04/29/how-to-handle-negative-feedback/ – summarised/altered)

  • Pause first and try not to react. Focus on your breathing and listen to what they are staying to you. As for a moment to process your feelings and content of the feedback if it is in real time otherwise a few days if it is via email.
  • Recognize receiving negative feedback is a positive thing and the gift that it is.
  • Understand what the person’s concerns are. Some questions you could ask yourself of them is:
  • What are the key issues?
  • Why is the person reacting this way?
  • What happened that affected the person?
  • Write down these answers so you can evaluate them in step 3.
  • Assess if the feedback is true.
  • Evaluate the feedback objectively. Do you agree on the feedback? Is there any truth behind it, and would this be an alternate perspective you missed out originally? Is it something you should look into?
  • Sometimes it’s hard to maintain an objective stance, especially since you are right in the middle of this. I found it’s helpful to seek out friends to get alternate opinions. You can ask them:
  • Their overall assessment of the feedback
  • What they think are the areas of concern
  • If they saw any truth behind it.
  • Reply to the person in kindness. Someone actually putting themselves in a position of giving your feedback is a gift. This is suggested flow for a reply:
  • Reiterate the concern the person has so it is clear you understood them.
  • Share your point of view, whether you agree/disagree, along with supporting reasons why
  • Create an open space for discussion
  • Agree on the next steps to move forward. Sometimes it’s possible that there can’t be an agreement met, and if that’s the case it’s about agreeing to disagree
  • Thank the person for sharing. Giving negative feedback is hard to give (and receive) so thank them for taking the time to be honest to you.
  • Learn from the feedback. There’s always something to learn from every feedback. Ask yourself:
  • What have I learned about myself?
  • What have I learned about others?
  • How can I improve? What can I do differently from now on?
  • What you’re learning can either be about the feedback how you dealt with the feedback or both.

Karen uses visual art, print & web design with individuals and groups using a collaborative approach. This happens using dialogue, workshops and/or training to facilitate creation through to the final product.

Karen mainly works in Turrbal & Jagera Country (Brisbane).

Current Project

Colourise Festival 2017

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