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Feedback

How to Provide Feedback

To be helpful, feedback should be given in a way that the recipient:

     

  • can understand the information,

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  • can accept the information and

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  • is able to do something based upon the information.

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Certain types of feedback should be avoided since it only serves the needs of the person giving it, not the person receiving it.

     

  • Perceptions, reactions and opinions should be presented as such and not as facts.

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  • Feedback should refer to the relevant performance, behavior or outcomes, not to the individual as a person.

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  • Feedback should be given in terms of specific, observable behavior, not in general or global terms.

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  • Feedback should avoid using loaded terms that produce emotional reactions and raise the defenses.

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  • Feedback should be concerned with those things over which an individual can exercise some control.

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How to Receive Feedback

Receiving feedback always offers the possibility of learning something valuable and can serve as a basis for future improvement. Please consider the following:

     

  • Listen carefully.

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  • Try not to let defenses build, but mentally note questions or disagreement.

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  • Paraphrase what you think you have heard to check your perception.

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  • Ask questions for clarification and ask for examples in those areas which are unclear to you or in which disagreement exists. Again, paraphrase answers.

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  • Carefully evaluate the accuracy and potential value of what you have been hearing.

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  • Gather additional information from other sources or by observing your own behavior and other persons' reactions to it.

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