Just a SuggestionSep 13, 2023
Just a Suggestion
My daughters wanted to create a fair and reasonable system for our family that allows for ideas, input, and feedback to be shared on a regular basis. I encouraged them to come up with a clear, creative, and consistent process they both agree upon that would allow our various voices to be heard and for suggestions to be taken into consideration.
I made it clear my encouragement was “just a suggestion” for their consideration, and they ran with it. They took it in, got their solution mindset on, dove into the crafts cupboards, and came out a few hours later with a suggestion box.
Aside from the empowerment the girls experienced with their idea going from suggestion…to idea…to concept, we’ve taken some of these suggestions (except for Bailey’s “cupcakes for dinner” submission) and put them into play. A few of the reasonable suggestions that have been submitted and put into action include:
1. Jacky’s suggestion: Setting aside time for weekly devotionals and communion.
2. My suggestion: Having a family dinner outside once a week, weather permitting.
3. Blake’s suggestion: Practicing at least one cheerleading routine every time we go swimming.
4. Bailey’s suggestion: Creating an area outside where we can do art projects and call that space “smash up”.
5. Our dog Finley’s suggestion (submitted with an assist from Bailey): Getting a doggie treat every time we go for a walk.
What started out as just a suggestion has turned into a weekly routine where we’re able to share our input, ideas, and feedback on an index card, fold it up nicely, and place it in the suggestion box for consideration. All ideas are welcome, but it’s important to note, not all ideas are approved, not all concepts come to fruition, and not all feedback is implemented. But the process is there for the various voices in our home to be honored and heard, allowing Jacky and me - as the leaders - to review and make some sound decisions.
As leaders, teachers, parents, coaches, presenters, what’s a process that works for you, given your staff/team/family/audience dynamics, that allow for healthy and honest feedback? Let’s create a way - so we all have a way - to give and receive the good ideas, those important concepts, that crucial feedback, with respect and grace. And if you can, do it in a fun and sound way that avoids emotional responses, polarizing positions, unreasonable requests, and hot takes.
Sometimes, many times, most of the time, if we take the time to create a healthy framework for feedback and a safe system for sharing, we’ll be able to hear from others, get their input, and make some sound decisions that may not please everyone, but allows for real and sustainable growth.
With all that said, like the feedback I offered to my daughters, I encourage us all to create a fair and just process we can all follow, and please keep in mind this all started with… just a suggestion.
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