The ASI encourages the proper use of feedback as a tool for personal and professional growth for all spiritual leaders.
When we offer an avenue for our students to give us feedback on our work we are taking steps towards redressing the traditional imbalance of power between teacher and student. We ask for feedback when we are willing to listen, learn, and grow from others. We must drop our defenses and be open to embracing our own vulnerabilities in order for feedback to be useful.
It can be uncomfortable to begin reading feedback forms; we do not know if we’ll find hurtful comments, misconstrued interpretations, or personal attacks. We are called to be mature and to not dismiss any comment. Instead, we may consider each feedback opinion carefully so that we learn how to discern what is a growth opportunity for us-professionally and/or personally. Remember that our shadow side is not seen by us. Our strengths can also be highlighted on feedback forms, giving us the opportunity to recognize what we can further cultivate in our leadership style. Whether feedback is positive or negative, please come to recognize that all feedback has the potential to be constructive and informative. Look for what you can learn in each comment. Our students sometimes can clearly see what we do not yet know about ourselves.
To help us learn how to be better spiritual leaders, we recommend partnering with another spiritual leader (i.e., a colleague who is also an ASI member) to go through your feedback forms. While working in a peer-to-peer method we can be there for each other, supporting our transition to being better human beings through the proper use of simple feedback forms.
We have three types of feedback forms available for you to utilize:
1. Feedback form for online work that you offer: download the form onto your own computer or use in google drive so that your students can fill it out online.
2. Residential courses/seminars/retreats form: For you to print out, distribute and collect.
3. Non-residential courses/seminars/retreats form: For you to print out, distribute and collect after your event. We have noticed that in-person events offer more authentic feedback if students have their feedback forms from the start of your event. When given only at the end, we tend to get a snapshot of how the student is feeling at the end of the event and there is less objectivity in answers received.