Giving And Receiving Effective Feedback

Feedback helps us become more aware of what we do and how we do it.

Receiving it gives us an opportunity to change and modify in order to become more effective communicators.

To be helpful, feedback needs to be given in a concerned and supportive way and to include both positive and negative observations.

It should focus on:

  1. The behaviour rather than the person
    • what s/he does rather than what we imagine s/he is
    • use adverbs that relate to actions rather than adjectives that relate to qualities
  2. Observations rather than inferences
    • what is said or done, not why (our assumptions)
  3. Descriptions rather than judgement
  4. Being specific rather than generalising
  5. Sharing ideas and information rather than giving advice
    • personalised: "I felt ..." "I thought..."
  6. The amount of information the receiver can use rather than the amount we would like to give
  7. Behaviour the receiver can do something about

When possible sandwich negative feedback between positive, and check that the receiver hears both positive and negative. (i.e. the background is affirmation)

Summarising the feedback received can be helpful, especially when it has been given by several people.

From: "A Manual for Trainers" by Franceska Inskipp