ESSENTIALS OF FEEDBACK Giving feedback is relaying the effect of behavior to individuals for their use and learning. In order for feedback to be most productive and beneficial, one aspect of the process must be emphasized: FEEDBACK SHOULD BE HELPFUL TO THE PERSON RECEIVING IT To be helpful, feedback to an individual must be such that the person: a. b. c.
understands the information is able to accept the information is able to do something about the information.
Some types of feedback serve only the needs of the person giving it and not the needs of the person receiving it. This is likely to produce defensive reactions from the recipient and they are unlikely to amend their behavior as a result. HOW TO GIVE FEEDBACK 1.
Feedback should be in terms of specific, observable behavior and the effect of that behavior on you personally.
Perceptions, reactions and opinions should be presented as such and not as facts.
Feedback should refer to the relevant performance, behavior or outcomes - not to the individual as a person.
Feedback regarding an area of performance should include a discussion of what is viewed as the ‘high’ and ‘low’ points of that performance and the specific behaviors which appear to be contributing to or limiting full effectiveness or accomplishment.
In discussing problem areas in which there are technical or established procedures for achieving solutions, suggestions should be made regarding possible means of improving performance.
When feedback has to be evaluative rather than purely descriptive, it should be in terms of established criteria, probably outcomes, or possibly improvements as opposed to making judgements of ‘good’ or ‘ bad’.
Feedback should be concerned with those things over which an individual can exercise some control, and may include indicators of how the feedback can be used for improvement or planning alternative actions.
Feedback shou1d avoid terms, which produce emotional reactions and raised defenses.
When encountering raised defenses or emotional reactions, the person giving the feedback should deal with those reactions rather than trying to convince, reason, or supply additional information.
Feedback should be given in a manner, which communicates acceptance of the receiver as a worthwhile person and of that person's right to be different.
Usually, feedback is most effective when given as soon as possible after the event (though some aspects of a person's performance may be better dealt with in private).
HOW TO RECEIVE FEEDBACK Feedback is always about past behavior and therefore receiving feedback offers the possibility of learning something valuable, which may serve as a base for future development and improvement. The following steps can increase the value of feedback for the receiver: 1.
Listen carefully and actively.
Try not to let defenses build, but mentally note questions or disagreements and check them out later.
Paraphrase what you think you hear to check your perceptions.
Ask questions for clarification in those areas, which are unclear, or in which disagreement exists. Paraphrase answers again.
Carefully evaluate the accuracy and potential of what you have heard.
Gather additiona1 information from other sources or by observing your own behavior and other personsâ€™ reactions to it.
Do not overreact to feedback, but you may wish to modify your behavior in suggested directions and then evaluate the outcomes.