3 Responses to Responding to Critical Feedback

  1. chanmadhavi says:

    Namaskar Yesu

    I remember in the early days of meeting Sri Vasudeva he used to do an Advanced Meditation program and one of the exercises was to speak to people who knew you and ask them to tell you about your strengths and weaknesses. You were encouraged to listen and just thank the speaker not to get into a discussion about what they said.

    As you did in the exercise you described, the purpose was to witness the thoughts and emotions that arise and to explore how to become established in an inner space where we don’t become over inflated by praise or over deflated by criticism.

    Thank you for this sharing Yesu.
    luv
    madhavi

    • indu says:

      Namaskar Madhavi and Yesu
      This indeed is an interesting subject.
      Today I just was preparing a workshop about reactive and pro creative behavior and now I read your item.
      The defensive words Guruji shows I’ve known them so well and…experienced how they didn’t bring any freedom in my mind and emotions. It was very inefficient. When I became aware about that it also became interesting to find out what and when I reacted with this contraction. What are the triggers? That told me a lot about my blocks in confidence and unconditional love and gave me good points to work on. I became aware of my defending behavior and by observing myself I found signals to show me the moments of contraction like:
      Not listening well, feeling uncomfortable, having no questions but directly giving answers to tell the other he or she doesn’t see me in a right way. After the critical feedback having negative thought about the other or even feelings of being angry inside, fear not to be perfect, working very hard to tell the other that my view is the right one, neglecting the person in the days after the meeting , talking with others about the person to try to find a good feeling about myself by sharing a bad feeling about the person..
      I started to listen, and was willing to embrace the feedback as a wonderful possibility of growth.
      This “training” myself helped me to creating an inner space with openness to grow, the attitude and intention to meet the other and myself at a deeper level and the believe that in every situation there is an opportunity for growth, made it interesting to listen to the feedback of others. Although not all my defending reactions are gone, I feel so much more freedom inside and I feel much more comfortable when critical feedback is given. It has become a gift even when it is not always an easy gift!

  2. Yesudas says:

    Namaskar Madhavi,

    Thank you for this message! This is indeed a very important topic which most of us do not learn early enough in life. It is quite interesting that here in the Netherlands the skill of how to give and receive feedback is actually appreciated and taught in universities and colleges. In the first year of my study this was a core element of our curriculum. After working as a team we had to play a game called the feedback game.

    http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=1751&calctitle=1&pageSubject=1203&pagecount=6&title_id=4781&edition_id=5539

    The way the game worked is that you had to chose 6 cards for each team member that describe how you perceive them. Three positive and three negative. Based on those cards you had to provide feedback to them. The only catch was that when you were receiving feedback you could not defend yourself or answer. It was a very interesting game. Then as a post-mortem you had to write a reflective report about the feedback you had received and how you would use it to improve yourself.

    Now for me the interesting thing was observing what was arising within myself while receiving feedback. All kinds of emotions, from fear, anxiety, pride, and jealousy just to name a few came up. Just observing them and feeling the urge of my ego arising to defend itself. At first this was difficult as I had been so conditioned to defend myself when facing these types of “challenges”. Something interesting happened…..when writing my reflection I realized that what I was witnessing was the play of the ego trying to keep me from growing and going deeper into myself! Until this day this is still something that I need to work on so I thank you for bringing up this topic! What I want to work on from now on is to listen fully when receiving feedback and using this information to move forward on the spiritual journey.

    To everyone who is part of a team I definetely recommend the feedback game. From what I experienced in doing this kind of exercise, it was difficult at first but getting past the barrier of giving and receiving feedback made the team much stronger in the end!

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