If you were a white-collar offender and want to improve your chances for successful completion of the program. It would be prudent to hire a prison consultant who specializes in RDAP preparation. Patrick Boyce, founder of RDAP Prison Consultants. He is an expert in the field of prison consulting. Also a 2003 graduate of the RDAP program you're about to enter.

Ten Attitudes That Prevent You From Listening

Truth:  you  believe  that  you  are  right  and  the  other  person is  wrong.  You  are  preoccupied with  proving  your  point  instead of  expressing  your  angry  feelings  more  directly or  trying to grasp how the other person is feeling.

Blame: you believe that the problem is the other person's fault and feel overwhelmingly convinced that you’re completely innocent and tell yourself that you have every right to blame him or her.

Need to be a victim: you feel sorry for yourself and think that other people are treating you unfairly  because of  their  insensitivity  and  selfishness.  Your  stubborn  unwillingness to  do anything assertive to  make the situation better gives people the impressions that  you  like the role of a martyr.

Self-deception: you cannot imagine that you contribute to a problem because you cannot see the  impact of  your  behavior on  others.  For  example,  you  may  complain  that  your  wife  nags you; but you don't think about the fact that you repeatedly “forget” to follow through on your promise to  repair  the  fence.  You  may  complain  that  your  husband is  dogmatic  and  stubborn and  unwilling to  listen to  your  ideas,  but  you don’t  notice  that  you  constantly  contradict everything he tries  to say.

Defensiveness: you are so fearful of criticism that you can’t stand to hear anything negative or disagreeable. Instead of listening and trying to find some truth in the other's person’s point of view, you have the urge to argue and defend yourself.

Coercion Sensitivity: you are afraid of giving in or being bossed around. Other people seem controlling and domineering, and you feel that you must dig in your heels and resist them.

Demandingness:  you  feel  entitled to  better  treatment  from  others,  and  you  get  frustrated when they don’t treat  you as expected. Instead of trying to understand what really  motivates them, you insist that they are unreasonable and have no right to feel and act the way they do.

Selfishness: you want what you want when you want it, and you throw a tantrum if you don’t get it. You are not especially interested in what others may be thinking and feeling.

Mistrust: you put up a wall because you believe you will be taken advantage of if you listen and try to grasp what the other person is thinking and feeling.

Help addiction: you  feel  the  need to  help  people  when  all  they  want is to  be  listened  to. When  friends  and  family  members  complain  about  how  bad  they  feel,  you  make “helpful” suggestions  and  tell  them  what to  do.  Instead  of  being  appreciative,  they  get  annoyed  and continue to complain. You both end up feeling frustrated.

RDAP Concept of Feedback

Focus feedback on behavior rather than the person: it is important that we refer to what a person does rather than on what we imagine he is. This focus on behavior further implies that we  use  adverbs,  which  relate to  action  rather  than  adjectives,  which  relate to  qualities  when referring to a person. Thus we  might say a person “talked considerably in this  group” rather than that the person “is a selfish loudmouth”.

Focus  feedback  on  observations: observations  refer to  what we  can  see  or  hear in  the behavior of  another  person.  Making  conclusions  about  a  person  can  contaminate  our observations, thus clouding the feedback  from another person. When conclusions are shared, and it  may  be  valuable to  have  this  information, it is  important  that  they  be  identified as conclusions.

Focus  feedback  on  descriptions of  behavior,  which  can be  measured  rather  than on personal  values: descriptions about quantity are more helpful than those concerning quality. The  participation  of  a  person  may  be  considered on  a  scale  of “low to  high”  participation rather than “good or bad” participation.

Focus  feedback  on  behavior  related to  a  specific  situation  preferably to  the “here  and now”: what  you and I do is always tied in some way to time and place and we  increase our understanding of behavior by keeping it tied to time and place. Feedback is most meaningful if given as soon as appropriate after the observation or reactions occur.

Focus  feedback  on  giving information  and  not  on  giving  advice: by  sharing  ideas  and information we  leave  the  person  free to  decide  for  himself, in  light of  his  own  goals in  a particular situation and at a particular time, how to  use the  ideas and the  information. When we give advice, we tell him what to do with the information, and in that sense, we take away his freedom to determine for himself what is the most appropriate course of action.

Focus  feedback  on  exploration of  alternatives  rather  than  answers or  solutions: one ofthe best ways to offer help is to assist someone in coming up with their own solutions.

Focus  feedback  on  the  value it  may  have to  the  recipient;  not  on  the  value of  the “release” that it provides the person giving the feedback: feedback is most effective when It serves the needs of the recipient rather than the needs of the giver. Help and feedback need to be given and heard as an offer, not as a demand.

Focus feedback on the amount of information that the person receiving it can use rather than  the  amount  that  you  might  like to  give: to  overload  a  person  with  feedback is to reduce the possibility that he may use effectively what he receives. When we give more than can be used, we are satisfying some need for ourselves rather than helping the other person.

Focus  feedback  on  time  and  place so  that  personal  data  can be  shared  at  appropriate times: because the reception and use of personal feedback involves many possible emotional reactions, it is important to be sensitive to when itis appropriate feedback. Excellent feedback presented at an inappropriate time may do more harm than good.

Focus feedback on what is said rather than why it is said: the aspects of feedback, which relate to  the  what,  how,  when,  or  where,  are  observable  characteristics. The  why of  what issaid  takes us  from  the  observable to  the  inferred  and  brings up  the  question of  motive  and process. Making assumptions about the motives of the person giving feedback may prevent us from accurately hearing what is said.

Some Guidelines for Giving Feedback

  • Identify the problem before you offer feedback.
  • Evaluate the validity of the feedback in your own mind. Make sure you're trying to help.
  • Be specific about all feedback.
  • Separate the people from the disease or symptom.
  • Identifying the problem: (e.g., cold symptoms are part of the cold). Don't over analyze the problem and make it too big to conquer.
  • Do not imply that the person has some personal motive. Keep the feedback on a professional level and always relate it to personal performance.
  • Do not get angry with the person and lose self-control. Give and give again.
  • Do not shift responsibility to someone else. If you're not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.
  • Do not attribute the behavior to personal weakness.
  • Do not candy coat the feedback. Be clear and concise.
  • Do not get pulled into an argument. Feedback is not debatable.
  • Do not turn the feedback into a joke or verbal one-upmanship.

Some Guidelines for Dealing With Feedback

  • Listen to the feedback in detail. Do not rush to defend yourself or your position.
  • Evaluate  the  validity of  the  feedback in  your  own  mind. If  the  feedback is  fair, formulate ways in your own mind that you could change your performance.
  • Try to gain more understanding through asking for more detailed information about the feedback. If  the  feedback is  very  general, as it  often  is,  ask  the  person to  be  more specific. Ask how the activity could have been done differently or better.
  • Do  not  imply  that  the  person  has  some  personal  motive.  Keep  the  feedback on  a professional level and always relate it to professional performance.
  • Do not get angry with the person and lose self-control. This accomplishes nothing.
  • Do not shift responsibility to someone else.
  • Do  not  attribute  the  feedback to  personal  weakness  and  do  not  present  yourself as  a total failure in all areas.
  • Do  not  shift  off  the  feedback  by  expressing  that  you  cannot  deal  with  negative comments.
  • Do not change the subject to avoid any direct discussion of the feedback.
  • Do  not  repeatedly  admit  that  you  were  wrong,  and  do  not  continually  question  the person as to what you can do to make up for the feedback.
  • Do  not  focus  the  conversation on  a  discussion of  justifications  and  excuses  for  what you did.
  • Do not shift responsibility onto the person by saying that the person is overreacting or is just looking for something to feedback.
  • Do not turn the feedback into a joke or verbal one-upmanship.
  • Regardless  of  whether  you  accept  or  question  the  feedback,  let  the  person  know  you heard and understood the feedback.
  • Remember that feedback is not a threat to you personally or professionally. Itis a way of gaining new information about different and perhaps better ways of performing.

Some Examples of Feedback

Feedback  is:  a  description of  what  you  see,  hear  or  feel  from  another  person. It Is  not  a question. When you give feedback, you begin by saying “I”.

Example: “I see that you look at the floor when you talk about that issue, and I think you're feeling embarrassed.”  -OR- “I  feel  you  aren't  being  honest  about  how  you're  using  has  affected  your life.”

Feedback  helps  the  receiver  learn  how  others  see  their  behaviors,  thoughts,  feelings  and actions. This helps them to consider changing (or keeping) a specific behavior.

Example: “I think you’re acting tough to keep people from getting to know you.” -OR- “I  feel  uncomfortable  and  want to  leave  the  room  when  you  look at me like that.”

Feedback is always positive if it is intended to help the receiver, not just if it sounds positive.

Example: “I think you are minimizing how badly you're using affects your life.” -OR- “I feel like you are afraid to let people see what you're really all about.”

Feedback describes the behavior, but does not attack or criticize the person.

Example: “When you don't listen when I'm speaking, I feel that you don't care.” -OR- “What you just said to me hurt my feelings.”

-NOT- “You made me angry because you’re a .....” -OR- “You just want to hurt me because you’re a big.....”

Feedback is always very specific.

Example: “Your  voice  got  very  soft  and  you  looked  upset  when  you  talked  about your family just now.” -OR- “You  just  clenched  your  fists  and  looked  angry  when  you  heard my feedback.”

Feedback is given out in small doses (short & sweet).

Example: “I feel angry towards you right now.” -OR- “I think that you avoid group involvement by not sharing.”

Feedback is not advice giving. Watch for: should, ought, might, etc.

Example: “You should not be drinking so much.” -OR- “You ought to try harder in school.”

Most importantly, feedback is always right... Because it’s yours!!!

Reduce Any Sentence By 18 Months or More!

WE HAVE THE ANSWERS YOU NEED (And we care because we have been in your shoes) 

It is important to contact us as early in the process as possible. For a free no-obligation case analysis contact Patrick now!

One-on-One Consulting - I will teach you how to avoid the common pitfalls that others seem to encounter. Along with real life examples to avoid.

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Contact Patrick Now for a Free Consultation