Trauma Conscious Leaders Ask for Feedback

I have had the privilege to attend some high-end retreats and programs in the last 5 years of my business and I am seeing a trend I would like to discuss. It is a curiosity to me when I attend a retreat workshop or program, and after it is over I am never asked what my experience of it was. I am not sent a survey, I am not given an invitation to discuss what it was like for me to attend, and yet I see these same people selling programs on how to run a successful high-end mastermind, or how to sell out retreats, or how to deliver experiences that your clients will love.

How do you know they loved it? How do you know it was a success? I need to know what the criteria is for you to claim this? If your criteria is hey I made a profit, no one died, I got through it without getting a migraine, it looked good on social media fair enough. You probably did have a successful outcome. But my friend—if your process does not include feedback from those who gave you their money then you are avoiding a huge part of the puzzle.

In my work teaching leaders to become more trauma conscious and courageous—the ability to give and receive feedback is an important skill to have. If you do not provide that opportunity as part of your process I am going to wonder why you avoid this?

True leaders solicit feedback, are open to it and have the skills to know how to receive it without getting emotionally hooked so that they shut the interaction down. I have seen people go to great lengths to avoid feedback. I have been in more than one room where someone shared that they were given “negative feedback” about their program or retreat and the defensive machinations are truly spectacular. They say some of the following things to shut it down.

  1. They are just haters
  2. They just don’t understand, their mindset is limited or they are not vibrating at our level.
  3. I didn’t ask for their feedback. You should have…because if you had a procedure and system for feedback then the process for your attendee or client would be cleaner.
  4. They just weren’t ready for what I have to offer yet.
  5. I fired them or I will never allow them into any of my offers again in the future.

What I am not hearing is:

  1. What is my part in this exchange?
  2. Asking the person: help me understand what your expectations were and how we missed the mark.
  3. Recognizing how I get hooked by feedback based upon my own history of trauma so that I can use my skills and support to help me pause—get resourced—so I can honor this person’s experience at my event.

We teach giving and receiving feedback skills in our Dare to Lead leadership intensives and I help people learn how to be trauma conscious as leaders and this is an important aspect of this learning. Let’s face it, we aren’t taught how to receive feedback in ways that are constructive, so we developed trauma adaptations to avoid it, diminish it, or overpower it.

If you are ready to take the next step in working on YOUR trauma adaptations then please feel free to contact me or leave a comment below. P.S. We will be enrolling a new Dare to Lead Intensive Cohort soon so email me if you would like to be on the list.

Leaders who I trust are also doing amazing work around Trauma Conscious Leadership. Kelly Campbell and Katie Kurtz

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