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KerryOn: 2+1 = Me

Feedback is critical for our personal and professional development. Feedback from peers, mentors, and colleagues can be a performance power-up if it’s done well. And yet, feedback can sometimes create a subtle or unconscious sense of anxiety. As valuable as it is, being given feedback can feel like we’re being judged or criticized. However, if we look at feedback as nothing more than performance data, it can help us shift out of a potentially negative headspace, and allow us to more efficiently use the feedback we receive to help us develop and grow.

There are myriad models of feedback. Throughout my years as a manager and then educator, I’ve used several variations of feedback models to enhance performance of my team and my students. But only recently have I realized I can incorporate feedback into my life, to develop me. This realization has been a game-changer!

My favorite type of feedback model is the 2+1. It’s a quick way to help ground my thoughts and reflect on an experience. What I like best is its simplicity: when giving someone feedback on a project, situation, event, etc., I look for two things that went well, and one thing that could be improved (Hence, “2+1”). I also like the flexibility of this framework. I can use it to provide feedback to others, or I can solicit a form of self-assessment with the same model. For example, when I’m talking about a recent basketball game or speech meet with my kids, I ask them for a 2+1. It’s a more specific question than they typical “how did it go?” which allows them to open a conversation about their performance. And it’s quick enough to complete in only a few minutes, if that’s all we have time for.

I also use this professionally, particularly when I have students with me during their advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE), which come in five weeks chunks of intensive one-on-one training. After each class session in which the APPE student teaches, they do a 2+1 on themselves to help frame their reflection. More often than not, they accurately share the feedback I would have provided, and I can add additional insights to expand on specific topics.

What I’ve found most valuable recently is how I’ve incorporate this on a personal level. Each evening, I write down my 2+1; two things I’ve done well, and one thing I could have done better. After doing this for a while, I realize it has had an effect on how I frame my days. Instead of dwelling over unfinished tasks at the end of the day, I can recognize and reward myself for doing at least two things well. And I can commit to continuous improvement by identifying an aspect of my day which wasn’t ideal.

The best part is, every day gives me a glimpse into a different aspect of that day – the way I prepared for a meeting, cheered for my child’s activities, or simply interacted with someone. Engaging in this practice every day has caused a welcome drop in my negative self-talk – the hyper-critical voice we all have in our heads, telling us how we screwed up – and helped to highlight in glowing neon that I (we) are all on a journey.

As I continue to work on a becoming a better version of myself, I’ve come to realize how I think about and reflect on my decisions, actions, thoughts and behaviors has an incredible effect on my mental state and my overall well-being. In short, this 2+1 = me.

KerryOn Questions

- What are 2 things you do well?

- What is 1 thing you can improve?

- How can you incorporate the 2+1 model into your life?

The Kerry behind KerryOn

My name is Kerry K. Fierke, Ed.D. (pron. Fear-Key) I have a unique combination of skills and experience – decades of fast-paced corporate experience in Fortune 100 companies and large health care organizations, combined with the academic rigor of a highly ranked research university. My focus is supporting others to create their own path to leadership development, lifelong learning, and a unique leadership legacy. Take a moment to focus on leadership, then KerryOn!

To see all KerryOn's and other leadership stuff, visit

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