Start. Stop. Continue.

By Tyler Pau, Assistant Director of Residence Life

In my time in higher education, I have had the privilege to work with a number of high caliber teams, both student staff and professional.  These teams challenged and supported each other professionally, bonded personally, provided excellent service, and regularly checked their bearings as a unit.  Through time, I have seen how important the last part of that equation is to improvement.  Timely and intentional efforts for teams to orient themselves are vital to their success.  A former supervisor introduced me to the feedback grid and I have used it as an effective way of checking how teams are doing and how they can improve.

In the feedback grid, people are reminded about the teams identity, mission, or goals and then asked what they need to start doing, stop doing, do more of, do less of, and continue doing to achieve success.  Here are the most brief guides to these questions.

Start doing:  What do we need to begin in order to be successful?  What haven’t we done yet?  What haven’t we tried?

Do more:  What are we already doing now that we need to do bigger/better/more often?

Stop doing: What are we doing now that is impeding our success?  What is keeping us from being as successful as we can be?

Do less:  What are we doing that we need to monitor and limit?

Continue doing:  What are we doing now that works and we need to keep doing to be successful?

As helpful as an exercise like this grid can be for a team and their development, it is also extremely beneficial to individuals.  It is a classic case of “what’s good for the gaggle is good for the goose”, right?   Okay, maybe that isn’t a saying but trust me, it is good for people to do this for themselves.  So, this being the close of one semester, followed by a long winter break that allows for a lot of reflection and projection, I would encourage you to do a feedback grid for yourself.

To obtain better grades, maybe you need to continue studying in groups with your peers because that works best for you.  Perhaps you need to start creating a schedule to manage your time better and make sure you begin and submit your assignments on time.

A successful varsity athlete may need to do less late nights so you can make it to practice on time and well rested.  Another idea could be to commit more time to treatment with the athletic trainers to rehabilitate or prevent reoccurring injuries.

The effective student leader might need to continue reaching out to their constituents and seeing how they can better serve and represent them.  Another could be spending more time with other leaders across campus in various roles to seek out opportunities to collaborate.

Whatever the case may be, determining where you have come from and where you are headed is paramount to your progress.  Sober review of what you have been doing, how that has worked, and what you can do to continue your improvement is good for each of us.  Anthony Burgess says “It is always good to remember where you come from and celebrate it.  To remember where you come from is part of where you’re going.”  Reflect on how this past semester has gone.  Celebrate making it through.  Consider ways that you can grow and improve.

Good luck on finals, stay warm, and have a great winter break.

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