Sunday, April 5, 2009

How to give Feedback

I discussed getting feedback, or how I like to call it, a smack in the face, a couple of days ago.
And now I would like to explain how you should give feedback.

When I asked some friends about feedback, they all say. 'But it should be nice feedback, not only negative.' Of course, feedback contains good things, and bad things.
Only bad things would make you feel miserable, only good things doesn't help you at all.

How should you give feedback

Make it a real 'feedback' talk. Don't just give some tips, but make it serious. It isn't a bad thing to make it take ten minutes. Write things down, and explain, with examples, what you are thinking about what the other person is doing.
Like, if someone is your group-leader in some sort of project, take some time at the end of the week to talk about how he is doing. Write, during the week, things down which you want to say to him at the feedback moment. Schedule that moment, make it the weekly feedback moment!

Be sure it is constructive criticism. You have to be sure that the other person is able to turn your feedback in action. If someone says to me: 'Stefan, you are sitting like a bag of salt, go sit straight!' It is something I can't do anything with. It makes me angry towards that person.
Say instead of those angry words something like this: 'Stefan, do you know that you aren't sitting straight? Try to stretch your back more.'
First, the question. Probably I don't know at all how I sit, so ask first if the person is familiair with the problem, than give tips how to do it better.

Be realistic. If you are giving feedback to someone who is really shy about a presentation in class, don't give tips like 'try to walk more, make it more vivid' and all, because that person is having a hard time standing in front of the class. Give tips about being confident to talk to the class instead. Now who you are talking to, now their capacities, now what limits they have, and of course, now which limits you should cross ;)

Now you understand how to give feedback, give some feedback to me. Just give it in the comments, I would like to read it ;)

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