I had my regular Monday evening Toastmasters meeting last night. I love this group for so many reasons. I’ll give you two.
Last night I was the Table Topics Master, which means I hosted the impromptu speeches portion of the evening. As the TTM always does, I selected one lucky person from the audience (guest or member) at a time to answer a question–I’d written 10 or so questions prior to the meeting. They then have 1 to 2 minutes to wow us with their quick thinking.
My own laggard thinking didn’t allow me to match person to question; it really was random. So when I called on a young petite Asian woman, I hoped she wouldn’t be disappointed by my one sports question on the list.
The question: If you could train and compete at the professional level, what sport would you choose? Why?
She hesitated for a slight second, which is why I worried that I’d stumped her, but then she nailed it. Blowing us all out of our seat.
I’ve always wanted to play hockey, she said. We all laughed. She’d always wanted to fight for the Stanley Cup, she said. I beamed from the inside as I listened. I totally had her pegged for a figure skater or gymnast. Stupid me.
She of course joked about her stature and the likelihood of it never happening, but a girl can dream, right?
I loved her instantly.
We are all either dreamers or personal development junkies at this chapter. I’m in good company.
The second reason I’m fond of this group is the kind critique.
We sandwich the criticism, as they say. We give each speaker feedback after each speech. We write between the perforated lines on the ballot sheet, room enough for maybe 3 or 4 sentences. One good thing, one kind critique, another good thing.
Not only does it feel good for the speaker to receive notes this way, it’s even nice for the critic. It makes me think, why don’t we do this more often?
Why not in real life do we also sandwich criticism? Especially self criticism?
Since we are our own biggest critics, why not every time we dive into the butt, the thighs, the middle, or whatever else we torture ourselves about, we adopt the sandwich method.
And perhaps go for a little kinder critique between the bread if we’re gonna give it at all.
I have awesome hair.
My ass needs its own zip code, but I kinda dig it.
I am boss at my job!
See, doesn’t that feel better already?
I leave you with this: What would make a good sandwich for you?
Kat Hurley is a transformational author, speaker and personal development coach, making over motivation @The Year of Magical Dreaming. For the full 411, visit kathurley.com, yo!