What is the purpose of Feedback?

Ever experienced feedback?

What was it like and how did you feel afterwards?

My experiences of feedback over the years is based on, I only seemed to get feedback when I had done something wrong!

Yet when I exceeded expectations, nothing was forthcoming, apart from the odd well done, but that is what we pay you for away.?

There is no such thing as failure, only feedback and renewed opportunities?

Feedback is about helping you to know and be aware of what you are doing well and identify any areas you may need to work on. And this should be from direct observation and feedback asap, whilst it is still fresh in the persons mind. There is no point in giving feedback more than 24 hours old, as the person in question would have generalised, distorted or deleted most of the information.

So the key is to give feedback asap after the event took place, this way you will gain maximum benefits for everyone involved.

Also the feedback must be given by the person who actually witnessed the event and not by a third party, the reason is obvious because if a person does challenge any aspect of the feedback, a third party can’t oppose or confirm, because they never actually witnessed the original event.

When you give feedback to anyone, it must based on pure facts, actually what you witnessed, that went on at the time.

It must be objective and not subjective, and the difference between the two is fact versus personal views (avoid what you already know about the person) base the feedback purely on what you have seen and witnessed yourself.

You need to make your feedback as specific as possible to enable the individual to know what they actually need to work on. Also what worked well and what didn’t work so well?

Specifics – mean to give an example of what someone said or did, i.e. it may be a question someone used, tell them what the question was that they used, to allow them to formulate this into future similar situations.

The key to feedback is to not over whelm a person with to many development areas, a because you will demotivate them and secondly we can only work on two / three development areas at any one time.

You need to reload the good points to make sure the person is aware and can continue doing them and turn them into normal habits.

Finally you need to identify the areas that require any improvement or development from this feedback session. The key is to enable a person to achieve success in bite size pieces. If there are more the two / three development areas to consider, choose the most important to deal with first, because the other areas will still be there and once the key areas have been dealt with you can then work on the other areas at a later date.

Feedback is all about development and if delivered in the correct manor, will enhance the performance and development of a person and increase their motivation at the same time.

We should all seek feedback on a regular basis, otherwise we will pick up bad habits without even knowing we have! If you don’t have feedback you will not know and this can hinder your own development.

The simple way to remember this process is via an acronym known as B.O.O.S.T.

1. Balanced  -  (ratio in favour of positive & limit development areas to 2/3),

2. Observed  - You have actually witnessed,

3. Objective  - Facts that you have actually witnessed,

4. Specific  - Provide details and examples,

5. Timely – Give feedback asap after the event took place.

Feedback should be an enjoyable experience that people want and actually seek. Because it helps to develop and motivate them as well.


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