Huh, no lol. I look at the alarm clock: 02:33. Music from the neighbor's garden has woken me up. Very loud music. Some Balkan sound with a heavy techno beat under it. Fok! Even before I think about what to do, it goes off. It's quiet.... Within three seconds, a lot of screaming follows. I think I hear it's Romanian... The music comes on again. And off again... They apparently disagree... A high-pitched female voice, a deep dark male voice and the loud Balkan beat alternate several times... Then it's quiet... And stays quiet... I'll talk to them tomorrow.

Five weeks before

The sun is shining and I am sitting in the garden reading a book. Then a huge noise thunders out of the neighbors' speakers; Polish hard rock.  Aaahhhh!... I put my book away, get up, and walk to the shed. To my alu-trap.  Once I've set the stairs against the fence and climbed on them, I whistle loudly on my fingers.
The music goes out; I have contact. “Hi guys, having a good time?” Smiling, five men look at me; "Yeeees, we have the weeeeeeekend. I smile back and we have pleasant fence-sitting conversation. All of them on a lawn chair, me standing on my step. Towards the end I say; “I also have weekend! Can you please turn your music down, so I can enjoy it too?”. No problem. And after that, no problem either. Great guests.

Tedious and educational

Next door to us, in the old core of the village, migrant workers have been living for a year. Five or sometimes six people in a detached house. The building is rented by an employment agency. I don't find that a problem. After all, everyone has to live somewhere. And I have a great deal of respect for these people; in a foreign country, away from your family, working hard, often earning little, with insecure contracts. Trying to grab your chance for a better life.

About every two months I take my step and put it against the fence. My Feedback Staircase works great for making contact and then giving feedback. It's just a pity that we get new neighbors every two months. That change makes it difficult. Each time a new group with hard workers. Reconnecting and engaging in conversation every time. It's annoying.

And... it is a beautiful and valuable exercise every time. An exercise in patience, in making contact and in making difficult things discussable.

Making contact

Do you want your team to give better feedback to each other? Make difficult things negotiable? Do you sometimes find giving feedback difficult yourself?

To give effective feedback, making good contact is essential.

How to make good contact and then give feedback can be learned in a workshop or training. For example in the training Radical Collaboration. Take this course, and you and your team will develop the five skills needed to work together effectively.

Want to learn more about the Radical Collaboration training? Go to the Radical Collaboration page here!