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Complex Thoughts

Feedback

Praise and positive reinforcement help to motivate group members. Criticism is also recognition. It shows your concern, points to the work done — even if it wasn’t done as it might have been. Critical feedback can be a vital learning experience.

QUALITIES OF EFFECTIVE FEEDBACK
  • Focus on behaviors rather than the person. Focus on behaviors that can be changed.
  • Focus on observations rather than inferences.
  • Focus on description rather than judgments.
  • Focus on sharing ideas and information rather than advice.
Feedback is not just a request for change in behavior. In human relationships, it may well be the beginning of the process of mutual acceptance.
WHEN YOU HAVE TO MIX CRITICISM WITH PRAISE…
You can avoid the sandwich technique and make the effect you want if you do this:
  • Start with the negative.
  • Get agreement.
  • Devise and get a commitment for remedial action.
  • Give the plus points that are due.
  • Don’t go back to the negative.
Avoid history. Don’t take the occasion to bring out a laundry list of mistakes.
USE CRITICISM CONSTRUCTIVELY TO BUILD UP, NOT TEAR DOWN
  • Think of criticism as a way to develop people and teach them skills.
  • Focus on protecting your member’s self-esteem.
  • Pick a suitable time and place.
  • Be flexible in how you evaluate different individuals.
  • Get the person involved (have dialogue).
  • Use “I” statements, rather than accusatory “you” statements.
  • Move the criticism into the future by offering solutions.
  • Follow up after you’ve given criticism to someone.
PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
  • An awareness that I am a person with feelings, and that I can live with the fact that my feelings influence me and my communication.
  • A tolerance of other people’s feelings and an awareness that their feelings, which may be different than mine, affect their sending and receiving communications.
  • The intention as sender to build feelings of security in the receiver.
WHEN YOU’RE ON THE RECEIVING END…
Remember that not all feedback is criticism. View it as a chance for others to tell you how you are doing. Accept it and use it to your benefit.
  • Focus on content, not delivery.
  • Ask questions to identify trouble spots.
  • Keep your tone non-confrontational.
  • Seek out feedback.
 

 

ADAPTED FROM COUGAR CLUES, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA–MORRIS

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