Last Monday, the Beech St. Elementary school team got together with Pawn Nitichan, the team’s staff buddy and CYNH co-ED, for its first stellar feedback session. These feedback sessions are focused on fostering a better environment for effective communication as a team. The long-term goal of these sessions is to give corps members the ability to positively give and receive feedback from those they work with on a daily basis. This first session, moderated by Pawn, allowed members of Beech St. to communicate how they see themselves supporting the team, how they may sabotage it, how they can be supported by the team, and what actions may sabotage their ability to work effectively. It was a good experience and in a very nonthreatening way showed a small glimpse into how your actions may affect others on your team, even if those actions are not intentionally malignant. I know it definitely made me more aware of what my teammates need to feel supported and what may cause them to feel sabotaged.
The other major exercise involved a hand drawn boat and seeming a bit silly at first ended up being quite deep. This exercise had each of us draw ourselves on the boat working to get safely to shore. Then we all had to explain how the picture of ourselves related to our role on the team. It was amazing to see how different everyone thought about this endeavor and how our teammates view their individual role on the team. There is a perfect bit of CY culture that really embodies what these feed back sessions are all about. That piece of culture can be found in PITW #24: “Seek truly effective communication”. Truly effective communication is transmitted in simple, clear messages. It seeks diverse, appropriate and often creative methods of communication so that real communication occurs. Lastly it is necessary to have an awareness of one’s own body language as well as ones verbal communication.