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Handling Feedback

The cause for many counselling sessions is an earlier feedback (of the boss, the partner, the colleague, the employee etc.). Getting feedback is one thing, to make use of it well is something completely different. Critical feedback is the response of the environment, which usually grows out of the lack of response in those to whom the feedback is given. One receives feedback and ought to change. From a counselling technique viewpoint what is central here is that one shifts the focus from change to perception. “If you look at the 360-degree feedback, the question arises for me, what emerges from this feedback which you have, up until now, not perceived, or ignored?” It is only afterwards that you can, in any case, make a judgment about what significance the feedback has. You can look together to see where it unfavourably reinforces already existing, unfruitful self-reproaches of the client, and where perception deficits, avoidance strategies and stifled needs are at play. In counselling, when feedback is only used for the ‘improvement’ of behaviour (for whomever it is better), the counselling will go awry, because it is working towards change as a correctly defined goal in itself.

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