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  • Writer's pictureDeane Lam

Tips - Feedback as a Gift: SARAH, TOD, and THEO - Navigating Growth Together

Let me introduce three lovely 'friends' to you. Give them a call, especially when you are getting ready to receive feedback. We are quite good at giving feedback; in fact, there are many tools and skills that help us structure good or constructive feedback. The question is how to receive feedback in a positive way, receiving it as a GIFT.

I learned about SARAH, TOD, and THEO years ago, and even created one myself. They are really helpful when receiving feedback, particularly from peers, coworkers, and co-facilitators.


When we receive feedback, please remember our good friend SARAH:

  • Surprise - Initially, you may feel surprised by the comments.

  • Anger - Then, you might experience anger about some unexpected feedback.

  • Reject - Of course, there's a tendency to reject feedback and think that they got it wrong!

  • Accept - But then, you'll realize it's from their experience, and that cannot be wrong.

  • Help - So, you can now ask for help on how you can develop or strengthen.

Now we can work with our coach TOD to develop ourselves:

  • Talent - Remember to focus on your talents - areas of strength for you to celebrate!

  • Opportunity - From the development areas, you will now see the opportunities available to you.

  • Development - People took the time to give you feedback on development areas - it's something to pay attention to.

And we always cherish a working or learning partner like THEO as a gift to us:

  • Trust - We trust our partner.

  • Honesty - They are honest with us when giving feedback.

  • Empathy - We understand and acknowledge their effort to share their true feelings and experiences with us.

  • Ownership - We take ownership to learn and grow together.

As we navigate the journey of personal and professional growth, it's invaluable to remember our three companions: SARAH, TOD, and THEO. SARAH teaches us to embrace feedback with surprise, acknowledge our initial anger, move past rejection, and ultimately seek help for improvement. With TOD as our coach, we celebrate our talents, seize opportunities for growth, and pay attention to areas needing development. Lastly, THEO reminds us to trust our partners, value their honesty, empathize with their efforts, and take ownership of our shared learning journey. Armed with these companions, we can confidently face challenges, embrace feedback as a gift, and continually strive for excellence in all aspects of our lives.

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