Lessons from #Chopped

What Foodnetwork TV has taught me about Corrective Feedback, Using my words, and the importance of being a Supervisor and Supervisee.

Chopped surprised me.

I thought it would be about food.

This show has given lessons in feedback (giving and receiving) and, how at any moment, everyone should be ready to learn and level up. From their community of peers. From peers that are visually different. From peers with different backgrounds and experiences. Still peers. Because they are all chefs.

We are all clinicians. Some of us BCBAs. Some of us SLPs. Some LPCs…you get the picture. In narrowing peer to peer feedback, I’ll use BCBA to BCBA. And one large question, in our roles in leadership (whatever the title), is it possible that people bring something to the space emotionally and cognitively, that we can learn from?

Yes.

As a practioner, being a student of ourselves is one way of leveling up. Reflective Thinking if you will. I engage in this as a spouse, as a mother, as a sibling, as a friend. The reflection is an act of where we evolve to as people.

As a clinician, I am surprised by this lack. Humility is the lexicon we use. Culture and Diversity is the phrase of the day. Yet, the act of service that these words require start at home. With us. With the people around us. That’s where the skill gets roots and foundation. It’s where its pruned. It’s where it’s cultivated around people who love you and know you enough to deliver the truth…in their way and style.

Why is this important? It Is the key to building resiliency and boundaries.

Resiliency without knowledge of your personal boundaries is harmful.

But, when the muscle of resiliency is cultivated within the heart knowledge of boundaries…what love feels like; what corrective feedback in its multiple exemplar frames…we learn about us and are better for the profession and leadership growth. When I understand the frames of resiliency, people, and perception; I can tap into opportunities that grow communication exemplars.

This is rare. Not all people in leadership have this and getting the support to grow this essential muscle is often not prioritized. This then makes room for the culture of communication avoidance and passive aggressive entanglements to grow and fester.

Here is a recent example: I recently had the opportunity to provide feedback to a peer. A mentor moment for a senior level clinician in how to utilize language and provide clear, concise, and constructive feedback to a junior clinician. The senior clinician did not appreciate and rejected this feedback and modeling demonstrated by me. By request, I was removed. No explanation. Silence.

#Chopped.

That’s what I was.

But without the feedback. And no one grows. It’s an allowed missed opportunity.

In contrast, no matter what, the judges stay the course and dig in. They are all chefs. Focused on the betterment of the profession for the consumer. It is their pleasure to serve tasty dishes. And in order to perfect their performance and use of technique, they give and receive feedback.

It is reciprocal. Peer to peer discussion.

It is not deciding that ‘your kind’ (whatever that means) is not positionally placed to provide feedback.

It is not deciding that telling a person that too much salt in the dish hurts their feelings. Too much salt is harmful to some.

It is saying, as a guard and gardener of my profession, I must cultivate myself and people. Consumer growth depends upon clinician growth.

This means that as a leader, we build the people around us to grow in resiliency, communication engagement and repertoires, along with boundary setting.

This means that when organizations and leaders have knowledge of this, they understand that the silence is harmful to individual perception of the culture and the reality of the culture that exists. All of it being harmful.

All can and should co-exist in peer to peer feedback and mentorship opportunities. Feedback is not always sandwiched, sometimes it stings, but the judges walk the line and stand in it. And to their credit, so do the contestants. Everyone understands their role in the opportunity presented. No one loses their voice. Everyone understands their place and role identity. And they use their words.

Something happens when we provide a place for people positionally and experientially regardless of position and placement the opportunity to learn and apply. And when we allow for visual diversification of supervision to happen, we reset relational frames and learning histories.

Here are a few lessons from Chopped:

  • Use your words. Add to your vocabulary. Operationalize and define what is meant during that moment of feedback.
  • Be Intentional in growing people in that moment
  • Embody the act of community to colleagues who provide feedback.
  • Dig In to conversations.
  • Refrain from creating a culture of fearful of communication. And the wronged silence.
  • Give Straight Talk for Straight Understanding as much as possible (credit: Rev. Dr. Anthony L. Bennett)
  • Get fluent in standing in it.
  • It’s possible to be humble and honest about your areas of strength and weaknesses AND provide feedback to another person.
  • Just because it was your mistake then, does not mean you cannot provide feedback and input on an area now. It is called growth and evolution of you. (credit to Pierre Louis, BCBA)
  • Know your role at the moment. Opportunities provide us all with supervisor and supervisee moments. Hopefully, all supervisors and mentors place themselves academically, personally, and clinically to be poured into and pruned for growth.
  • Don’t be an ass. Be an adult and learn to have grownup conversations in the workplace.

Until next time. #KeepBreakingBarriers

~Landria Seals Green

Photo by Jenna Ebert on Unsplash

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