Wijnand de Jong (43)
Wijnand is an Amsterdam based social psychologist. He’s a lecturer in applied psychology, an inspired career counselor and an experienced trainer in developing social skills.
As an entrepreneur I have freelancers working for me from time to time. When I give them feedback about the work they did for me, I often notice that they become kind of petulant, rigid and defensive. Frankly, first: I blamed them a lot for that. But recently I realized that many different people react that way when I give them feedback. What can I do different?
Now, that’s a brave question. Not all women entrepreneurs wonder what really happens in social encounters and take responsibility for that. But, let’s be honest: answering questions about yourself, using the very thoughts that you like to examine, is an impossible trick to pull. Einstein already said: ‘We can’t solve issues using the same kind of thinking we used when we created these issues.’
So, for your personal development you need others for help.
My advice to you is: try the Johari Window. A very insightful tool to learn about yourself and your way of dealing with people. Johari might sound Japanese to you, but the name is an acronym of the inventors: psychologists Johannes Luft and Harry Ingram.
The bottom line is this: you can use two forces and then experiment to solve your social issue.
The first force is: feedback. Ask others – preferably right on the spot when you gave them the feedback that shut them down – what happened. Share your observations and be curious ‘I noticed that you became silent when I gave you feedback. What happened?’
Then you use the second force: self-disclosure. You tell what influences your feedback behavior. ‘When I make the step of giving you feedback, I often experience time pressure and I feel things need to be perfect.’
The final step, after using the two forces is: experiment. Figure out new ways of giving feedback, that you both feel secure about and try. Like social entrepreneur Jill Ferguson did, experimenting with servant leadership.
You enhance your self-knowledge, people will work harder for you and you’ll achieve more.
It’s like a social recipe. Follow it, add a bit of your own style and enjoy the result with others.