Feed Forward Inspires Quality Performance

People are less familiar with feedforward which inspires quality performance. That’s because there really isn’t any point pointing out to people what they’re really bad at, because they probably already know. The brilliant thing about feedforward is that people at the receiving end of feedforward see aspects of their performance that they are less good at – start becoming better! This is because people feel good and are not trying to undo what they are not good at.

This was the conversation had with Debra Allcock Tyler.

In Pursuit of Excellence

2 themes emerge – excellence and empathy. Feedforward is a totally different way of talking about performance.

1. Was is excellent?  

2.If it wasn’t excellent, what would have made it excellent? 

3. Give that person time to absorb the essence of the conversation.  Embrace the power of the pause.  Allowing space for reflection has tremendously powerful results.  

4. Feedforward is impactful for appraisal processes. The appraisal is led by the I appraisee.  The appraiser is more likely to discuss how performance can be even better.  Such a developmental approach can be more fulfilling and meaningful.   

5. In change journeys and transitions, feedforward is a useful channel to hear what others think.  “I know what I think, I want to know what  you think and what you know.”  says Debra.

6. Feedforward avoids the temptation to use the feedback sandwich.  Debra quips, “You can pull whipped cream on a steaming heat of smelly dog poo. It might look pretty, but it still smells bad.”  Consider that people with you are   fellow travellers.  You are not superior to them. 

7. A more extensive leadership approach is encouraged by feedforward.  

Together you consider:

  1. What would make this situation even better?
  2. What would make you shine?
  3. Ken Blanchard considers leaders to catch someone doing something good and tell them. Debra encourages leaders to tell others as well.  Build the person up, inspire them, motivate them.  Everyone wins, is built up and inspired.

8. Feedforward encourages transparency and builds trust.   When DSC carried out a staff survey the response was overwhelmingly positive. “Nothing’s hidden from us. We know what the challenges are, and we also know what the Chief Executive is doing to fix it.  We appreciate our Chief Executive because she is involving us in helping to solve the problem. “I think you have to make a massive distinguish between truth that empowers giving people knowledge and information that helps everybody to work together versus truth, which disempowers people and makes them feel bad.  Sometimes People use information to shore up power. There is little to be gained by hoarding information. There’s very little reason not to tell them what is going on.”

9. DSC use feedforward in attracting new staff.   If you want people to shine at work, you won’t get people to shine by exposing the mud. “You get people to shine by shining them”. “We’re looking for the best. So, there’s no traps, we don’t put in trick questions. We want people to shine during the interview process says Debra”.

10.  Encouragingly, feedforward encourages you to be the best version of yourself.  The wonderful essence of feedforward is that it is non-judgemental.

.   Debra remembers her grandmother who used to say, 

Before you judge anybody walk for a mile in their moccasins”.    When someone is not acting pleasantly, Debra considers that something may be going on for that person that is affecting  them and probably making it difficult for them to be the best version of themselves” she remarks. Turning to emotions that may be considered negative, “Encourages people to turn guilt to something that can have a positive result.   This may be a promise not to do that action or make that decision, again.  Staying with guilt changes nothing” 


What is Success for Debra?

“For the moment it is survival. We have fantastic feedback from the charities that we serve. Lots of people are engaging with us and complimenting my team for their support.  DSC is achieving its objectives in spite of the challenges it is facing.   My team is saying to me, I’m having a great time. I’m really enjoying the projects I am involved in.  100 percent of my staff say they felt properly and fully supported by their managers.  That is something for all of us to feel proud of and celebrate”

“Success is a about the quality of relationships with your people, your family, your partners and with your friends.”


00:00:00 Paula: Welcome to “TesseTalks” with your hosts, Tesse Akpeki and co host me, Paula Okonneh, where we share with you top leadership and management strategies. This continues to be a journey of discovery, as we are learning that leadership is personal and professional. And we hope you, our listeners, will walk with us in this adventure. The theme for today is “Feed Forward Inspires Quality Performance”. And so we’ll be talking with our guest, Deborah Allcock Tyler, about this. But before we start I need to let you know who Deborah is. Deborah has worked in the charitable and voluntary sector for over 30 years. Amongst numerous other roles, she is co chair of the Soldier in Arms Awards alongside General the Lord Danette. She’s a trustee of InKind Direct, one of the Prince’s foundation charities, and she’s also an Africa Advocacy Foundation ambassador for women and girls at risk or affected by female genital mutilation. She has served as a trustee of several charities. Included being the co chair of the Small Charities Coalition and was its first chair. She served on the Charity Commission’s SORP, SORP committee for over seven years and was the co founder, was the vice chair of governors of White Knights Primary School for six years. Welcome to the show, Debra.
00:01:33 Debra: Thank you so much and lovely to be here.
00:01:36 Tesse: Hi, Debra it’s always a joy to see you. And the last time we spoke, you know, Paula and I talked with you on “TesseTalks”, she talked on feedback. And I’m very curious about another word that people might be less familiar with, feedforward. And for our listeners, you know, what do we mean by feedforward?
00:01:56 Debra: Well, it came, I think, Tesse didn’t it, when we were having such a laugh and a chuckle about, you know, how much I dislike being given feedback, because it’s normally negative, you know. And I’ve never found it personally particularly helpful. And I was talking about how I felt that actually we ought to change the way in which we think about how we share with people that information that’s going to help them to improve in their lives and their jobs and whatever happens to be. And so we talked about “feedforward”, which is about there really isn’t any point pointing out to people what they’re really rubbish at, because they probably already know, you know, often you just make them feel worse. Whereas if you focus on the things that they’re good at, the areas that they shine, what they tend to do is work even harder on that. And then very often what happens is, the bits that they are less good at start becoming better anyway. So for example, we’ve introduced this thing at DSC because we have two themes, excellence and empathy. And one of the very clever ways in which we use the core value of both of those actually. But in this instance, excellent, is when somebody’s produced a piece of work or given a presentation, we don’t tell them what wasn’t good about it, we ask the question, was it excellent? And if it wasn’t excellent, what would have made it excellent? Which is a totally different way of talking about, and also because then they’re telling you. So they’re saying, actually, what would have made it excellent if I’d have had fewer slides? Or what would have made it excellent if I’d have lined up the papers that, you know, the report a bit better? Or what would have made it excellent if I’d used charts instead of words? Do you see what I’m getting at? And so, and I think that’s what “feedforward” is really, you know, it sounds like an odd way to say it. But it’s about focusing on things that people are going to do moving forward that makes them feel good, rather than trying to get them to undo something that they’re not very good at. I mean, Tesse and Paula you and I spoke, didn’t we, about the fact that I get feedback all the time from my public speaking. I speak too fast. I’m nearly 60. I’ve had that feedback well, since I could begin speaking, and my mother said it was very early, you know. So for 59 years, I’ve been having feedback when I speak too fast and I find it really difficult to change. So when I get that feedback, I never feel good, you know, I just feel like defeated, like all these years I’ve been trying. You know, was when people say, actually you know, when you really emphasize those sentences, and you really sort of like engage people by using every word and giving pauses, it was so much more powerful. That’s helpful. That I can work with. That makes me feel good. Does that make any sense?
00:04:17 Tesse: It’s really lovely. And you know, as we were preparing for this conversation, I remember something that you shared with a number of participants, including myself, about when you want to give feedback to someone. This is a workshop you ran, and you said, I’m going to, you know, give that person time to absorb what you’ve said. Pause, let there be silence, because the person is still taking it in. You know what you’re going to say, the other person doesn’t know what you’re saying. Give the person time, slow down, pause, and let the person take it in, and then you can ask the question. And it might be, and I remember you saying it, even though it was a few years ago, you said it might be that the person is so flabbergasted by it, that they need to say, okay, maybe we should come back to this conversation when you are ready to have it. What do you want to do? And I just love the autonomy that you built into that whole thing. And I’ve been using it ever since. And I think feedback for me has got so much better. Of course we always work on it. But until that point, I never realized the importance of building silence and forces, and also letting the other person feel that they’re in control of the conversation as well.
00:05:31 Debra: Well, I think there’s kind of two other parts of that too. So one of the things we do at Directory of Social Change in terms of appraisal. So like the ultimate feedback is your yearly appraisal, isn’t it? That’s when you get told, usually by your line manager, whether you’re any good at your job. But we don’t do it like that at DSC. We completely turn it around. So all of our appraisals are owned by our staff. They write them up. So we have a series of questions like what do you think you’ve done really well and what helped? What do you think you did less well and what do you think got in the way? What’s your relationship like with your line manager? What’s it like with your colleagues? We don’t say anything as managers. They fill all of that in and they come into the appraisal and they tell us what they think in answer to those questions. The managers don’t say anything. And of course what happens is, because it’s completely owned, they even write it up. The managers don’t even write up their appraisals. It’s all owned by member staff. And we say that’s because it’s their appraisal. It’s not our appraisal. It’s theirs. And so they own it. It’s for them to say. And of course, interestingly, what happens is pretty much every single time people are much harder on themselves than you could ever be on them as a manager. When it comes to the bit like, what have you done well? They typically quite modest there. And so in the appraisal, the manager then has the opportunity to say, well, but Tesse, don’t you remember you did that brilliant thing last time? And do you not remember how well that presentation went down? And do you not know how, you know, how you really cheered up, you know, Paula when she was in a bad space. You should put those things in. You immediately start off by making them feel good about themselves. And then when it comes to the things they did less well, again, in my experience, people normally absolutely, I did a terrible job at that. I’m really disappointed in the way I could have done. And then you as the manager get to say, Tesse, it wasn’t that bad, honestly, nobody would have realized. So actually, yes, okay, that didn’t go well. But what you then did was X, Y, Z in order to fix the situation. So you basically end up with a whole appraisal is led by the individual. And as a manager, you’re basically constantly telling them about what they did well and what they could carry on doing well, rather than having to say, well, Tesse you know, you didn’t do a great job at that presentation. How could you have done it better? Do you see what I mean? And so I think there’s something really important about that. And then the other point was about giving people time to catch up. I think there’s as well about when we’re implementing strategic changes or briefing people on decisions. And as leaders, you can often get really impatient, like why did they get so resistant when we told them about this big new thing? And it’s because we forget that we’ve probably been talking about and thinking about it for months at senior level. And the staff probably haven’t been. And so we’ve had months to absorb all the stuff we need to think about in terms of this change or whatever the thing is that we want to do. And then we dump it on them, and then we don’t understand why they’re not instantly saying, yeah, you’re all fabulous. It’s because we need to give them time to catch up. You know, you’ve got to give people time to catch up with your thinking and where you are. And that’s true of, you know, thinking about changing an organization or changing in the performance of an individual. So, you know, it’s like, I guess the other thing as well is, I said this to somebody the other day. When they, you know, kept like, like giving their view about something, which is ironic, because I’m always giving my view about stuff. But, you know, I was saying the thing is, you know what you think, you know, but you don’t know what they think. So isn’t it more interesting to find out what they think? Because you already know what you think, you know, and they laughed and they said, gosh, that’s a really good point. I’ve not looked at that before. I do know what I think. I don’t need to get that out there. I want to know what they think, you know. Anyway, you have to laugh about these things, don’t you? You really do.
00:08:40 Tesse: Well, I love it. Paula, what do you think? Because Debra’s actually bringing another slant, another kind of weighting to what can make an effective process. What are your views? What is your question, Paula?
00:08:54 Paula: As I listen to her, I love that part about, you know, appraisal, letting the employee own their own appraisal. Because as you said, you know, they’ve been thinking about themselves, they’re more modest about their strengths and they’re harder on themselves about their so called weaknesses. But given them that opportunity to put it out there, you are able to, you know, balance things out. So that brings me to another question. How can leadership balance, you know, feedback and feedforward? Thinking about that as you spoke, I was like, hmm.
00:09:27 Debra: Yeah, I sort of take quite a radical view of this and it’s like, I generally think telling people what they’re not doing right, don’t do that. I’m very rarely hearing you say that’s not very good, you could have done it better. I’m much more likely to say, how can we make this better? You know, I’ve never really experienced, cause you know, they call it the, well, I was just about to use.
00:09:45 Tesse: The sandwich.
00:09:46 Paula: Exactly what I was thinking.
00:09:49 Debra: I’m not sure about your listeners, and ladies, you know, what a naturally profane person I am. I love a swear word, but anyway, I’m glad to say we do this thing where we say something nice to people, then we say something horrible and then we say something nice again. Like that makes it better. I mean, I always remember someone saying like, you can pull whipped cream on a steaming heat of smelly dog poo. It might look pretty, but it still smells bad. You know, and so I think that’s often people’s approach to feedback. So this nonsense about say something nice, make them feel good, then like tear them apart and then put them back together. I just don’t find that helpful. And also I think I’ve said before about feedback is that, you know, so often it’s like, where’s it coming from? Like what gives me the right to tell you you’re not good at something? You know, I tend to think like the people I work with, they’re colleagues. They’re fellow adults on a journey. I’m not better than them. What business have I got to say you didn’t do a very good job of that or whatever? You know, so I’m like, what would be my motivation for doing it? Like, you know, if I’m saying to somebody that wasn’t very good, for whose benefit is that actually? You know, so I try and turn it on its head and just always think about, you know, what’s going to help you? What’s going to make the other person feel powerful and valued? And it’s very rarely saying, you know, your grammar is terrible or your spelling’s awful, or, you know, you don’t write very well, or whatever it is. It’s very rarely that. It’s much more likely to be, you know, when you take time over your presentations or when you take time over your written work, it’s brilliant. Or, you know, when you like share what you’ve written with other people and you take on board their suggestions, how you can improve it, that’s just brilliant. It’s just a very different way of going about it, I think. But that’s not particularly popular view. I mean, we have inculcated to our culture managers, important, knowledgeable job to tell other people off, you know, and it doesn’t matter how nicely you do it. So I just always, you know, if I’m thinking about saying something to someone, I’ve always had to say to myself, what’s in it for me you know? So am I actually saying it because it makes me feel powerful, because it makes me feel better, because it makes me feel important, because it’s my job I’m supposed to say negative things to people, because I’m the boss, you know? So I just, yeah, that’s not how I like to do it. Much better to say what would make this even better? Or what would make this shine? Or, you know, yeah.
00:12:02 Tesse: Yeah. You know, one of our favorite people, Debra, Ken Blanchard, you know, who wrote the “One Minute Manager”. He’s written quite a number of other books. And every time I read his book, he comes up with something which is so special, like catch someone doing something good and tell them. I mean, you added to this the last time we spoke when you said tell others as well, so that the person is built up, the person’s inspired. What I’m coming into my mind as you’re sharing this, is actually a lot of it about a culture shift. It’s about a paradigm shift, really, and how people see power. You know, more recently, I’ve been doing a lot of studying around the use and misuse of power. You know, conscious and unconscious power within, over.
00:12:47 Debra: Yeah.
00:12:48 Tesse: Towards over, you know, and it’s all that thing. So the question I have really, and it’s not a trick question as I muse over this, is from your point of view, how can this feed feedback, feed forward, the whole interchange with people that we work with, the people that are partners, our alliance, you know, relationships, et cetera. How can that style, the practice be shifting towards a conscious use of power to enable and build people up and work properly as a team, you know? Whatever we’re looking at.
00:13:22 Debra: That’s a great question, Tesse. I’m honestly not entirely sure, but I do think there’s something about, you know, and you see this a lot. Like why leaders very often don’t tell the truth to people. They don’t tell the truth about the situation they’re in. I don’t mean they lie, but like they don’t share things with them. So there’s kind of like leadership team meetings where you don’t get to see the minutes and, you know, I’ve got to go to a meeting, what happened? Oh, you know, can’t talk about it. It’s because people use information to shore up power and they kind of feel like if they give away information, if they’re completely open and completely transparent that they somehow that diminishes their power. But what I’ve actually found is that the more truthful you are with people, the more you trust them with the truth, the more you tell them, and there’s very little reason ever not to tell them. The more powerful they feel and the more powerful you feel, ironically, you know, whereas, so you see that often, like, you know, like we know things at director level that you don’t know, you know, you minions down on the workforce. And I’ve always had this philosophy, like pretty much everything I know as the chief exec, my team know. You know, if we’re struggling, you know, we’ve had a gruesome financial year last year at DSC. It was absolutely brutal and really hard and worrying about how we’re going to meet payroll and stuff like that. My staff have known all that. We told them about it. You know, we’ve talked to them about, you know, what can we do? And their attitude is they want to help. We had one of the worst years we’ve ever had last year. It was absolutely brutal and terrifying for most of us for most of the year. And at the end of the year, we did our staff wellbeing survey, and it usually comes out pretty well. I thought this year it’s not going to be as good, you know, because it has been a really tough year for people. Anyway, unbelievably, not only good, better than even previous years.
00:14:55 Tesse: Wow.
00:14:56 Debra: And I was talking to my staff and I was saying, how is this possible? We’ve had a terrible year. You’re all absolutely knackered. You know, we’ve all had so much to do, it’s been worry, worry, worry. How on earth can you all say morale is really good, you’re really happy, you love DSC? And the one thing they consistently said is, because you tell us the truth.
00:15:12 Tesse: Wow.
00:15:13 Debra: Because we know, nothing’s hidden from us. We know what the challenges are, and we also know what you’re trying to do to fix it. And we also know that you’re involving us in helping to solve the problem. So, every single time, Tesse, that’s what they say, it’s because you tell us the truth. You know, I mean, I know it’s just, I’ve just found it. It’s like, we’re scared. We’re so, I’ve just written an article about it actually. We’re so scared of telling the truth. Like bringing this back to feedback though. It’s like, there’s a line that’s managed, isn’t there? About the brutal truth with people. I mean, this is the truth about organizational. This is the truth about, you know, how we’re doing, how we can help each other as a team. I think speaking one’s own truth to an interviewer saying like, well, Tesse, you know, to be perfectly honest, I find you really difficult to work with. That’s never helpful, is it? Because that’s not, you know, do you see what I’m getting at? So I think when we, when I talk about telling the truth, I think you have to make a massive difference between truth that empowers giving people knowledge and information that helps everybody to work together versus truth, which disempowers, which make people feel bad. By the way, Tesse, that’s not the truth. I adore you. I think you’re wonderful. And I love being with you.
00:16:15 Tesse: You know, you, you know, I, thankyou I’m embracing it. You know, one of the people usually quote, “Radical Candor”, you know, that book “Radical Candor”. And what I think is that they haven’t probably read the whole book.
00:16:28 Debra: Yeah.
00:16:28 Tesse: Because if they’ve read the whole book, the author is actually saying exactly what you’re saying in the way of building things up and et cetera, and not sugar coating things, but doing it with compassion and you know, that sort of thing. But people takes like bits and pieces out of it. And that’s when they say, oh that’s , radical candor. And I’m thinking, no, read the book.
00:16:47 Debra: I’m exhausted Tesse, often these things that we’re criticizing people for, how much does it actually matter? You know, in the scale of people’s performance in the workplace. So they’re a little not so great at this thing, does it, you know, it’s almost like we’re trying to carve these perfect people who are good at everything instead of saying, do you know what? So and so is not great at presentations, but they’re absolutely brilliant at written materials. We don’t need to criticize them for their presentations, you know? Or we can talk about, you know, if you don’t feel confident with it, that’s fine, let Paula do it. You know what I mean? It’s like, everybody’s got to be molded into being good at absolutely everything in the workplace and they’re not, and why should they be? You know, half the criticisms and more than half the criticism or the feedback we give people actually, is it necessary? Does it really matter? You know, in the great scheme of stuff, is it not better to have people feel focused on what they’re really good at and like play to their strengths? It’s like, again, at DSC, I know I’m going all over the place here. But, so we always send, and lots of organizations are now doing this. So when we interview people, we always send them the interview questions in advance. And the first thing we say to them when they come into the interviews, we say, we don’t want to see what you’re rubbish at, we want to see what you’re brilliant at cause that’s what we want at DSC. So we’re looking for the best. So there’s no traps here. There’s no, we don’t put in trick questions. You’re like, well, you didn’t handle that very well. We want you to shine. Because it’s the shiny side of you that we want at DSC. We expect that there’ll be things you’re not so good at and things you don’t make us say. So please don’t be afraid to like boast about what you’re really good at. And, you know, please don’t be afraid that if you, you know, happen to admit to some flaw somewhere, that that will go against you. Cause we’re like, well, hello, you know, looking in the mirror, all of us, you know? So I think that’s, yeah, it’s like if you want people to shine at work, you don’t get people to shine by exposing the mud. You know what I mean? You get people to shine by shining them.
00:18:30 Tesse: And that’s when the best of them is spotlighted.
00:18:32 Debra: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. We want the best of people at work. We have to expect that. My sister has a lovely saying, which I really like. She talks about the best version of yourself.
00:18:41 Tesse: Oh, lovely.
00:18:42 Debra: And she’ll say to me, I wasn’t the best version of myself today, my sis. And I’m like, oh, you know, and then sometimes she’ll say, Debs, in this meeting, I was so the best version of myself. You would have blown away by my brilliance, you know. And I think that’s so much better. Better to say to people, what’s the best version of yourself? Aspire to that and forgive yourself, you’re not the best version of yourself, you know.
00:19:03 Paula: You know, as I listened to this, I realized more and more it takes being aware and, you know, emotional intelligence for us to, you know, look at people beyond their performance and look at them as people. That’s really where it comes down. And so, but as I listened to you, I mean, you have said such brilliant things. Yes, you have. I mean, this whole terminology and feed forward came from you. So, at the end of the day, what would you consider success? I mean, we are beginning of the year 2024. I’ve listened to you. I’m bowled away by you as I know Tesse is. What do you consider success?
00:19:42 Debra: Oh, God. Well, brutally honest at the moment, survival. Like just making it through and still having an organization existing. But actually, you know, I, Paula, DSC are giving great feedback about how happy they are. That actually translates into success. So we have fantastic feedback from the charities that we serve. We have, you know, lots of people engaging with us and complimenting my team and things like that. So the interesting thing is that, you know, in order to achieve the objectives of the organization, which, you know, obviously DSC is to help and to serve charities. It really helps if your people feel good and they feel good about themselves. So I know that DSC is successful when my team is saying to me, I’m having a great time. I’m really enjoying that project. I had such a good time. And we had 100 percent of my staff said that they felt properly and fully supported by their managers.
00:20:31 Tesse: Wow.
00:20:32 Debra: Who has ever heard of it. So there’s always somebody who moans about a manager, isn’t there? Always. Not in this year. You know, so for me, that sort of thing is success. When people say I felt supported, I felt able to give of my best. I felt you know, involved. I was given new projects to do and it was hard work, but I, you know, I felt like I did a good job at that. I think is success really. Yeah, it’s not, I mean, people are weird about success, aren’t they? It’s like we say a successful businessman typically, usually it’s somebody who’s wealthy or, you know, made loads of money or has got this massive, huge job title. And I’m like, yeah, but he never sees his kids. You know, his wife is miserable and lonely and feels unsupported. Is that success? You know, so I, for me, success is always about the quality of relationships. Quality relationships with your people, the quality of relationships with your family, the quality of relationship with your partners and with your friends. That’s what success is.
00:21:24 Paula: I love it. Tesse?
00:21:25 Tesse: Absolutely. No, I, when Debra is saying this, I think about, you know the thing, be kind, you know, that’s what kindness is, isn’t it? It’s kind of your relationships, the quality of your relationships. And I love the bit about no one’s perfect. So, you know, it’s kind of best.
00:21:43 Debra: No. And I’m not always trying to be. Let’s be honest. I don’t want to like paint myself as some kind of a saint. I have humble thoughts. You know, sometimes I, you know, I’ll be all smiling on the video call. I’ll put the, you know, I’ll switch the screen off and I’ll be like, I think I’d sailed through life in this thing. Cause I really don’t! And actually the other thing is, I have to work hard at it, and I think sometimes we underestimate that, you know, like, it, it’s not failure if you find it difficult to be kind and compassionate, because I do sometimes. There are some people who I just really struggle to build compassion for, you know. And so I have to work really hard at that, and I think it’s okay to acknowledge that, to say, you know, we sort of think, well, that person’s a compassionate person, they were born that way, you know, and, but actually, I wasn’t. I’m not. I have to work incredibly hard at being kind. I have to constantly remind myself of other people’s, you know. My mother used to say, my grandmother actually used to say when we were growing up, you know, before you judge anybody walk for a mile in their moccasins, you know. And I think there’s so much truth in that you have no idea what’s going on in somebody’s life. I mean, look, Tesse, at you yourself, you know, all the sort of, you’ve had some massive challenges to face over the last few years, huge challenges that would have slayed anybody else. And yet in public, doing all your work, nobody would ever have known. They’d have seen this confident, sassy woman who’s incredibly successful and really happy and has no issues, you know. So yeah, I think we mustn’t confuse what we see with how people feel, you know. I always suspect that there’s something going on for somebody. And particularly when someone is behaving badly. You know, if they’re being difficult in work, if they’re being uncooperative, I very rarely think that’s because they’re a horrible person. I normally think there’s something going on for that person that’s affecting them and making it difficult for them to be the best version of themselves. And that’s what we’ve got to try and find out what it is to see if we can help rather than so and so is just miserable and uncooperative, or they’re not a team player, or you know, those sorts of things that you get in feedback. Not a team player, a bit aggressive, over assertive, you know, interrupts other people. 99 percent of the time, there’s something else going on for somebody that’s, you know, causing that behavior.
00:23:43 Tesse: You’re most kind, and I think I say the same for Paula too, that a lot of the time people, you know, are, you know, kind, warm, friendly, embrace, et cetera. And the way Paula goes through challenges and embraces the world and whatever, you’d never know. You’d never know. So I love that bit about not just the best version of ourselves, but also knowing that to be the best version of ourselves, we’re going to daily work at things for ourselves, but also we need to be self compassionate and actually embrace ourselves, flaws and all, unconditionally.
00:24:17 Debra: You know, it’s like, because we have this thing about, don’t feel negative emotions, guilt and shame. And like, you mustn’t feel guilt, you mustn’t, they cripple you. And like, sometimes, yes, okay. I get that. They do for some people. But I’m like, If you feel guilty about something, that’s a really powerful emotion, because actually what that means is you know you did something wrong, you feel guilty for a reason because you’re at fault. So turn that guilt into, I’m not going to do that again. You know, I’m going to have a different, same with shame. You know, shame is about the fact that, you know, you’re ashamed for a good cause. So take that shame and turn it into, I’m never going to do that again. You know, for me, that’s what self forgiveness is. It’s not about saying, well, I did that, you know, here are all the excuses for why I did that and I’m going to move on. You know, it’s more like saying, I feel guilty because I was awful. And I did a terrible thing. So I’m going to make sure I don’t do that thing again. I think that’s what’s for me, self compassion is and forgiving yourself. It’s about not saying like, well, I did all that stuff. It wasn’t my fault. I was only 20. It’s like, well, I did all that stuff. I feel guilty about the fact that I did it. I know it was wrong. I knew it was wrong at the time. I’m not going to do it again.
00:25:17 Tesse: Love it. Paula.
00:25:19 Paula: Love it. Love it. Love it. And that’s the whole essence of the “feed forward”. By giving yourself self compassion, self awareness. But, also, applying that to others. And so, thank you so much, Debra. And thanks to our audience for always tuning in. If you love what you hear, we’d ask you to please write us a raving review. And if you’ve got questions or topics that you’d love us to cover related to leadership and governance, please send us a note. Remember it could be personal as well as professional. And if you’d like to be a guest on the show, we ask that you head over to our website, which is “tesseakpeki.com/tessetalks” to apply. As usual, Debra, you’ve been fantastic.
00:26:05 Debra: Oh.
00:26:05 Paula: Go ahead.
00:26:06 Debra: I just said, bless you. Thank you.
00:26:11 Tesse: You’re a diamond Debra, a diamond.
00:26:15 Paula: Yes you are. Trying to think of a word you created or you created, or you made us aware of the word feed forward. There must be another way to describe you. Fabulous, fantastic, fantabulous. But Thank you.
00:26:27 Tesse: Debrastic. Debrastic.
00:26:30 Paula: Debrastic. I love that.
00:26:34 Debra: All the efforts.