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How Was It?

How was it? 

Recently, I wore my cheeky hat for a formal presentation and got my audience uncomfortable in their seats. While explaining that conflict was inevitable, I used an analogy and went on to highlight the similarities. As I was delivering the presentation through zoom and sharing my screen, I didn’t swiftly pick on my audience’s unease. After the meeting, I phoned the convenor for his feedback. He explained that a crucial component had been omitted and graciously offered me another opportunity to cover that aspect – which was actually beneficial to me.  

Whenever I make a presentation or moderate a session, I call the convenor or speaker afterwards and simply ask: How was it? At home, I often ask how the food was and listen keenly to my daughter’s response because she describes it without sugar coating. 

Many times, we get into conflict because we do not ask for feedback. Hence, it is very easy to keep repeating something that irritates others because you do not even know that it annoys them. Giving feedback however is not easy. We are often concerned about whether our feedback will be well received and afraid that it could cause a rift. Therefore, people withhold feedback particularly when it appears to be negative. 

How then can we encourage people to give us feedback? One way, is by asking open-ended questions. This allows them to tell you about both the positive and negative things and gives room to delve deeper into how common ground or improvement may be reached. It is important to remember that how we react to the feedback we get can also make a big difference. Remember that the person giving feedback is only sharing their perspective thus it is crucial to allow them to express themselves without interruption even if you disagree with them.

Do you want to make your home more peaceful and staff more productive? Do you want a more cohesive team and to have project deadlines met? Ask for feedback. Listen to feedback. Discuss the feedback. Incorporate the feedback.

So, how was it?

                        author

Sarah Ater

Sarah Ater is a Judiciary Accredited Mediator serving in the court annexed mediation program. She has keen interest in promoting work place mediation and exploring how mediation can contribute to sustaining resources in the coastal region.  MORE >

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