from Judy's notebook
"Feedback" is a way of helping another person to consider changing their
behaviour. It is communication to a person (or a group) which gives that
person information about how they affects others. As in a guided missile
system, feedback helps an individual keep their behaviour "on target" and
thus better achieve their goals.
Some guidelines for useful feedback:
Feedback, then, is a way of giving help; it is a corrective mechanism for
the individual who wants to learn how well their behaviour matches their
intentions; and it is a means for establishing one's identity -- for answering
"Who am I?"
It is descriptive rather than evaluative. By describing one's own reaction,
it leaves the other person free to use it or to use it as they see fit.
By avoiding evaluative language, it reduces the need for the individual
to react defensively.
It is specific rather than general. To be told that one is "dominating"
will probably not be as useful as to be told that "just now when we were
deciding the issue you did not listen to what others said and I felt forced
to accept your arguments or face attack from you."
It takes into account the needs of both the receiver and giver of feedback.
Feedback can be destructive when it serves only our own needs and fails
to consider the needs of the person on the receiving end.
It is directed toward behavior which the receiver can do something about.
Frustration is only increased when a person is reminded of some short-coming
over which they have no control.
It is solicited, rather than imposed. Feedback is most useful when the
receiver has formulated the kind of question which those observing can
It is well-timed. In general, feedback is most useful at the earliest opportunity
after the given behaviour (depending, of course, on the person's readiness
to hear it, support available from others, etc.)
It is checked to insure clear communication. One way of doing this is to
have the receiver try to rephrase the feedback received to see if it corresponds
to what the sender had in mind.
When feedback is given in a training group, both giver and receiver have
opportunity to check with others in the group the accuracy of the feedback.
Is this one person's impression or an impression shared by others?
go back to
The address of this page is http://proteuscoven.com/counsel/feedback.htm
Contents of this page are as found in Judy's counselling
notebook: author and source are unknown.