Marketing Viewpoint by Ruth Winett
Eight Tips for Giving Feedback That Helps, Not Hurts
A new college graduate was enrolled in a graduate education program that thrust future teachers into the classroom with just two weeks of preparation. Besides students, 14 adult observers were in the new teacher's first classroom. One seasoned teacher presented the novice with a list of the 13 dead-end "yes" -"no" questions she had asked, plus a diagram delineating note-passing activity. At the end of the six week program, the new teacher was technically prepared to teach, but she was petrified.
All of us regularly give feedback to colleagues, friends, and family, but not all feedback or advice is helpful. Unfortunately, feedback is often vague, irrelevant, overwhelming, and sometimes unsolicited and destructive.
How To Provide Guidance, not Criticism
Giving effective feedback means providing guidance. Identify a problem or issue, and provide constructive suggestions. But don't overdo the positive feedback. We tend to say "good job" so often that people expect praise for just doing their jobs. When a colleague asks for feedback, listen before commenting. He may just want confirmation for his ideas, not your advice.
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