The Effectiveness of Feedback

I arrived at the house feeling tired and stiff. Together we (Karaj, Robert, Kuldip, Dev) finished the conservatory roof and tidied the house and garden in preparation for the women’s group. The presence of a tight deadline meant I had to curb my ‘be perfect’ nature. It felt liberating to do so. Also, it was important to me that everything be done before the first woman arrived. Karaj has always said that there is no need for people to see how we work and I understand that now. We succeeded.

We washed up, tidied the two rooms and prepared the food for the women. Again we worked efficiently, quietly and cohesively to get the jobs done in time. We had a supervision session, instigated by Dev, said our goodbyes and moved our operation to Sunil’s flat. Two good points came out of the supervision. Karaj said that we share responsibility – it goes round in a circle as each of us takes charge at different times and we all cover each other’s backs. I also talked to Dev about how natural it is starting to feel for us to give instructions and take command of situations. I said that when we do so without any hidden agenda or games, it is natural.

At the flat we continued the yearly review together with George. At one point Robert, George and I stood chatting in the kitchen. George appealed for help in using the sandwich toaster and I told him that’s exactly what he does with his wife, when he is perfectly capable of working it out for himself. My challenge was immediate, and here is the value of instant feedback: when George made his appeal, Robert moved to rescue him and, because of my intervention, I ‘woke’ Robert up from his script and he was able to identify the irritation he feels when he rescues people. Irritation he has thus far been unable to identify. The instant feedback was present all day.

I felt the feeling of sharedness we have together. We share so much of ourselves with each other and we also share experiences together. The annual review has highlighted this for me in the way we have jogged each other’s memories of those shared experiences.

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