Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Elders Have Finished This Mission & are now moving forward to their Life Mission.

Detroit ERC  Career Workshop materials used to adapt & give a Life Workshop to  Elders  & Sisters who have finished their missions.  
Opening Song:  p. 270 I'll Go where You Want Me to Go

Elder Hoopes asks each Elder, "what will you be doing in a week, in a month, in 5 months, in 4 years, in 10 years etc?  He talks about goal setting, education, writing down accomplishments, creating Power Statements all to be used #1 to build confidence & #2 to present themselves powerfully during an interview or to a prospective wife and her parents.

Then I, Sister Hoopes explains that in our Employment Center Career Workshop the attendees are giving & receiving feedback to help each other for two days.  I ask the missionaries to think about how they have received & given feedback on their mission, & how they felt about it. Feedback will still be in their life continually & hopefully it will be a pleasure & not destructive.  Many of them wish they had learned this at the beginning of their mission instead of at the end.

We discuss how the ability to receive feedback can become a strength. When the interviewer asks, "What is one of your greatest strengths their power statement answer could be this:
"Receiving feedback is one of my greatest strengths.  For example, when others share their reaction, give me advice, etc, I really appreciate it so I can consider the impact I make on others or on the company, and I will make improvements if I need to.  I will even ask my boss or anyone what they think I can do better.  That is how receiving feedback is one of my great strengths." 

I love to share with missionaries the concept of our 11 points of Feed Back and how they relate to the Scriptures.  All verses in our Scriptures that speak of actions can often be seen as affecting the way we speak to one another. Communication with others is such a hard thing to figure out in life since every person comes into a conversation from their own reality.  So, as missionaries  go home and continue reading scriptures,  one suggestion is to draw lips by every verse that tells of actions that would obviously affect the way we speak and the way we respond to feedback.  For example:   

Moroni 7:45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things..

#1. Feedback is a gift. Consider others reactions to be a gift, requiring effort and commitment from the giver.
 (Remember the effort, sacrifice & commitment of the Father and His Son, "the giver of all good gifts" and consider efforts & commitments made by others who give gifts.)
  So let us consider it a gift no matter how ungift-like it may at times seem to be given.

#2. Giving feedback is a risk. So thank & reassure the giver. Why a risk? We worry how it will be received. (Remember the prophets who worried about how well they could speak or write & hoped their words would be received?)

#3. Perception is a reality. Accept the impact of your behavior as the other person's reality.  You don't have to agree with it or argue about it.
    (Lachoneous certainly did not agree with all of Giddianhi's feedback in his letter. 3 Nephi 3:1
#4. Distinguish impact more than intent. Focus on being curious about the impression you have created, not defensive about your intent.
(3 Nephi 12: 23 Therefore, if ye shall come unto me, or shall desire to come unto me, and rememberest that thy brother hath aught [anything] against thee—

 24 Go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I will receive you.)  We try to communicate & learn of what we did to make the impact & try to make it right by apologizing & reassuring the giver that it was helpful information to know of our impact.
#5. Look for the "germ of truth" Adopt a What can I learn from this?   Try to dig out everything you heard, then think about what you didn't hear.  Alma 62:45 Therefore, Helaman and his brethren went forth, and did declare the word of God with much power unto the convincing of many people of their wickedness, which did cause them to repent of their sins and to be baptized unto the Lord their God. When we listen to seek understanding of our impact, we too will learn.

#6. Check your understanding.  Paraphrase in order to verify what you hear & clarify anything you're unsure about.
     (3 Ne 12:25 Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him, lest at any time he shall get thee, and thou shalt be cast into prison.) In the employment world, a boss generally doesn't want to know "why".  Being fired & unemployed might feel like a prison. So, receive the feedback graciously and make adequate changes.

#7. Put the message in perspective.  The feedback relates to just one aspect of your behavior, not your worth as a person. (Remember your worth from the Atonement)

#8.  Assume good intent from the giver of feedback. When received graciously you already show your good intent without having to explain it.
 Ephesians 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
 #9. Separate consideration from action. Take time to consider what has been said before reacting. [Feedback from Moroni to Pahoran.] Alma 60 Moroni complains to Pahoran of the government’s neglect of the armies—Alma 60: And now behold, we desire to know the cause of this exceedingly great neglect; yea, we desire to know the cause of your thoughtless state.  18 .... For we know not but what ye yourselves are seeking for authority. We know not but what ye are also traitors to your country.

Pahoran's response is thanks & reassures Moroni for his feedback.  Alma 61:I, Pahoran, ....  9 ... in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart. 

10. Be responsible for yourself.  You decide how much you can take, at what rate, and what you will do with the information/ feedback. 
           In Preach My Gospel p.151,  missionaries are instructed to be responsible and ask their mission president and others what they could do better.
11. First impressions are valid. Don't dismiss first impressions from new people because "they don't really know me yet."      Keep your Mission standards of 1st impressions of dress, conduct, actions, thoughts etc for the rest of your Life Mission.  As you do this you will continue to bless others with the gospel and you will be happy & productive.

Conclude: Focus on receiving feedback so that if we ever need to give feedback, we will know how to do it. 
When we receive it with gratitude & smiles we will also give it with excitement as a gift, having put prayer and great effort in preparing so it will be helpful. 

1 comment:

  1. I just got caught up on your blog and was very interested in this post about career workshops for departing elders. We just started doing that two transfers ago. It certainly seems to be a blessing to our missionaries. Isn't it great how every program of the church can work together to others. What a great thing you're doing for these returning missionaries.