5 Principles For Giving Inspiring Feedback

I would like to highlight, once more, feedback that I recently received from a friend in my PLN:

Her words inspired me to the extent that I shared a follow-up post last week about how her words led me to a shift in personal action and mindset, and in which I publicly thanked her for being such an asset to my personal/professional learning.

Why? What was it about her feedback that led not only to change, but to even greater mutual respect?

After all, it’s not easy for any of us to hear when we might have fallen short. Yet it is crucial for us to recognize ways we can grow. So the art of giving feedback that inspires is an invaluable skill for us all in this age of information and communication. For those of us educators using social media platforms for some #diyPD, it’s especially helpful to consider the ways that will facilitate the best kinds of connection when we share our insights with one another.

Here are 5 questions we might ask ourselves:

#1: Is there a relationship? This is the #1 question in all contexts when working with people. If we turn up out of the blue without previously having made any efforts to know where the person across the table is coming from, we can bet that our insights won’t be as well received as they might otherwise have been. This is a particularly important question to ask ourselves as we work with our students.

#2: Is there kindness? At first, this seems obvious, but it’s actually easy to take for granted amid the anonymity of social media–easy to forget that there’s a living, breathing, feeling person on the other end of our sometimes-harsh words. I’ve been surprised to read comments on larger educational websites like Edutopia where feedback quickly devolves to personal attacks or scorn. A good rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t give that feedback in person to a colleague in your building, don’t give it on social media.

#3: Have you read the content in full? Whether the feedback is negative or positive, it’s important to have the full picture before imparting. This helps ensure our feedback is as relevant as possible.

#4: Are you genuinely curious? As long as we remain curious about one another’s work and opinions, we are much more likely to avoid assumptions, and to remain centered on growth over correction.

#5: Are you in the arena, too? This is derived from a quote from Brene Brown. Simply put:

Speaking of Brene Brown, I can’t ever write a blog post even remotely related to feedback without sharing her fabulous “Engaged Feedback Checklist.”

I am so grateful for those who have taken the time to give inspiring feedback that has helped me grow. How have you been inspired by others’ feedback as you seek learning in your PLN?

featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto

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