Friday, February 23, 2007

Helpful feedback

I was cleaning up some of my old notes from college days, and I stumbled across a course that I took in "Communication". I was astonished at how applicable the information was to those moments in the dojo when I am requested for feedback on a person's technique, or for answers to people's questions. Also, there are moments when I ask for directions, and feedback on my efforts to improve. The following suggestions help bring the most out of a "feedback" moment. I decided to place this information here on my weblog so that I can keep it for the future.

Helpful Feedback:

1. It should be related to a specific behaviour or action. Feedback that is specific gives a person more information about the change he/she may have to make.

2. It should be relevent to the particular situation. The kind of situation a person is in directly influences his/her ability to receive, and utilize the feedback willingly.

3. It should be purposeful. The more deliberate corrective feedback the more effective communication becomes.

4. It should be well-timed. The earlier feedback can be given the more useful it becomes in correcting specific behaviours.

5. It should be descriptive and clear. Clear, descriptive feedback enables a more accurate understanding of the information being given.

6. It should be based on the assessed needs of both people involved. The need and readiness to become involved in the feedback process directly influences one's willingness to correct his/her behaviour.

7. When the feedback received is vague, clarification should be requested. Feedback that is unclear blocks learning and change.

8. It should be both positive and negative. People need to know what they are doing well, and what they can improve.

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