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Let More of the Good Stuff In

Don't know why, but negative feedback tends to stick while positive data/input slips away.

In performance appraisals, the "sandwich method" (i.e., share a positive, offer constructive feedback, close with a positive) leaves us with twice as many positive comments and yet, we leave remembering the negative feedback. It's stickier for some reason.

The truth is, we ought to be listening for the positives.

People send them to us all day long - with a smile, with an appreciate comment, with gratitude for an act of kindness, with feedback for a job well done. And yet - that one negative comment is the one that sticks. It's the one we allow to stick while dismissing the other voluminous data that suggests you are more than.

We get to choose what sticks to us.

It's not like SOME of the constructive criticism/feedback isn't warranted. But you get to be the decider - is is valid? If so, you can work on that. If the feedback does not resonate or seems unfair or inconsistent with what you know to be true, then assess the quality of that piece of information. Remove the sticky - and replace it with a positive.

Not too long ago, I facilitated a gift/purpose discovery retreat and one woman was having a difficult time pinpointing her unique talents and gifts. In a short time, she had poured through the workbook, found two typos and reflected that her boss always told her that she was "too thorough." This information had made her feel less than - when in fact, her thoroughness was one of her superpowers! She didn't recognize it because, throughout her life, it had been presented to her in a way that made her feel less than.

We get to choose what sticks.

And we need to start listening to - remembering - and even writing down - the wonderful things that people say about us.

You are more than enough.

You matter.

Your talents are unique.

You are making a difference.

Spend time with people who make you feel all that you are - because you have some amazing talents.

Be intentional about what you allow to stick. Work it if you need to - and in the meantime, embrace the positive stickies! They are all over the place!

© Kathy Sturgis, PhD. Kathy is founder of Refreshment Zone and is an organizational and personal development specialist with a doctorate in communication. Contact for more information on motivational programs.


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