In our commercial world commodities that are high in demand and low in supply command great value. Internally, we have a resource that is the basis for engagement, learning, respect, felt empathy and even love. This resource is also under huge demand, internally and externally - we are bombarded minute by waking minute with opportunities to spend this resource, often without our conscious awareness. Yet the high-demand and low-supply ‘rule’ does not apply to this resource, for it remains massively undervalued.
Feedback is a conundrum and a contradiction. It is absolutely necessary for growth, yet it triggers the threat-based pathways in the brain that prevent acquisition and deep learning. Particularly feedback done poorly.
One question alone can help shift a feedback conversation from being awkward to gifting a real opportunity for learning…
If the brain is a system, and the outputs include decision making, sensing, problem solving, creating, collaborating and more, then the quality of these outputs are dependent on the quality of inputs to the system. Most of us don’t consider sleeping, eating and hydrating as anything more than satisfying a biological need, yet these, and other factors play a huge part in how well you turn up each day.
Natively we see conflict and confrontation as something akin to a visit to the dentist: if we face up to it, it will probably be full of pain, much better to avoid it. In amongst the 'ore' of pain and effort lies some significant paydirt: conflict is the bedrock of innovation and improvement. We rarely learn when we are comfortable, and relationships won't grow without learning. If we can permission and harness conflict, great things can happen.