What is feedback & What’s the point?
Feedbackis about providing information about performance orbehaviourwith the aim of affirming and/or developing performance orbehaviour, i.e.• to affirm what you do well• to help you develop in areas you do less well
"Improper guidance and feedback are the single largest contributorsto incompetence in the world of work, and a principal culprit at school".
Types of Feedback
Formative assessment can identify strengths and also areas of weakness:-•Unconscious incompetence– is when learners do not know that they do not know something. Formative assessment can promote awareness•Conscious incompetence– is when learners are aware of what they do not know. Formative assessment can promote learning•Conscious competence– is when learners know that they know something. Formative assessment can encourage them to incorporate their learning into practice•Unconscious competence– is when learners are so familiar with their practice that they do not know that they know something. Formative assessment can keep them from lapsing
In addition to telling learners what their needs are and where they are in the learning process, formative assessment can:Tell them when they are ready to learnEnhance their innate motivation to learnDemonstrate a range of strategies and ways of learningOffer the opportunity to reflect on the learning process itselfEvidence shows that high quality formative assessment does have a powerful impact on learning.
Video analysisRandom Cases AnalysesProblem Case AnalysesOSCEs – can be done in a formative or summative waySignificant Event AnalysesPrescribing reviewsReferral analysesFeedback from other members of the health care team (type 360 degree type feedback into Google)Patient feedbackAppraisalDebriefing
Can You Remember a Time When You Were Given Bad Feedback?If we want to figure out how to give good feedback, it is probably a good starting point to figure out how to do it badly. Try and recall feedback (may be at school, college or university or even in the work place) that was awful for you.
Feedback is NOT
A negative emphasis: It is a mistake to concentrate exclusively on a person’s weaknesses.
A "flavourof the month" approach: where everyone is compared to each other in a displayed graphical formPoor communication about the purpose: If participants and respondents are not told the purpose of the exercise, there will inevitably be some who invent their own reasons when responding to constructive commentsThere was no action or support, just an evaluation: For feedback to be useful it must result in action.
How the Learner May React to FeedbackOn the person receiving the feedback :-Anger: ‘I’ve had enough of this’Denial: this reaction often accompanies the initial shock of feedback ‘I cant see any problem with that’Blame: ‘It’s not my fault. What can you expect when the patient won’t listen?Rationalisation: finding excuses to try and justify theirbehaviour‘I’ve had a particularly bad week’ ‘Doesn’t everyone do this?’Acceptance7 Renewed Action (this is what you are after)
And, as the Giver of Feedback, avoid doing this:Obligation: ‘I’m duty-bound to tell you this’Stand on Moral high ground: ‘It is for your own good!’Bullying and fudging: taking a long time to get to the point and covering many irrelevanciesMinimising: ‘Don’t worry, it is not such a big deal. Everyone does it at some time’5.Colluding: ‘You’re probably right, perhaps I am overreacting’
Why do I need to learn about Doing Feedback Effectively?Because feedback can encourage OR discourage behaviour. If given in the wrong way, negative feedback can result in an “unpredicatablesubsititutionor change of behaviour” (Tosti, 1986) thus preventing you from what are really trying to achieve.
Do You Relate to Any of These?Some people hold back from giving motivational feedback because:• they think that compliments are inappropriate• because the trainee is only doing what he or she is paid to do• they feel too embarrassed• they believe that the person receiving the feedback may relax and take it easy…….the ‘halo effect’• they believe that the person receiving the feedback may be suspicious of their motives• they think that the feedback may be misinterpreted as a ploy to fish for compliments in return• they don't like receiving motivational feedback themselves
How Do I Give Effective Feedback?.....
information: hard facts, concrete data, observable examples of performance andbehaviourand NOT personal hunches NOR assumptions!about performance orbehaviour(i.e. what the person does and how they do it) and NOT about who they are.a very specific intention, that is, to lead to action. If this does not happen, then there is no point in giving it.4.feedback is intended to affirm or develop performance orbehaviour. This means that before delivering feedback, the deliverer must be clear as to the outcome they wish to see. If this is not clear to the deliverer, what hope has the recipient got?
Some people hold back from giving developmental feedback because:• they worry that they might upset the receiver ………‘the horns effect’• they are concerned that the receiver may reject them/reject the feedback• they are concerned that the person might retaliate with developmental feedback his or herself• they are concerned that it may end in a confrontation that would be difficult to resolve and might damage future relations• they think that the issue is too trivial, and that it would be better saved for something more substantial• they don't like receiving developmental feedback themselves.
TIMINGCheck to make sure it is the right time to give feedbackEgif the giver or receiver are in a foul mood or upset about something else in their lives, now might not be a good time. Check!Try and give feedback soon after the event – not months later when the receiver can’t recall it anymore and it thus becomes a “cold” topic.Research shows that feedback given immediately after a test-like situation is best. In general, the more delay that occurs in giving feedback, the less improvement there is in achievement• be well timed• enough time take time and prepare wellfull attention/no interruptionsboth people feeling calmif possible, receiver should feel prepared• both parties need time… don’t rush
GET THE FACTSIF IN DOUBT - SHUT UP AND LISTENTIMING IS CRITICAL
• involve mutual goodwill◊ receiver should feel that the giver isn’t their enemy◊ giver needs to want to help receiver develop◊ give criticism on “neutral” territory◊ Need to Alter Beliefs concerning Feedback◊ Fundamental to being able to give effective feedback is the belief that feedback is a helpful, healthy and positive communication between two people. The purpose of feedback is to maintain and improve performance - it should therefore have both a positive intention and impact. Consequently it is vital that the whole feedback process, whether giving motivational feedback (what has gone well) or developmental feedback (where the individual can improve) is conducted in a positive and constructive way.◊ Be encouraging in tone
CONTENT•Balance the feedback. Only give feedback where it is going to make a difference. Don’t over do it with negative feedback – you may push the learner into defensive and unrevealing mode. Don’t forget to provide some positive . Positive feedback generally provides more information than negative feedback and strengthens a student’s motivation and self-confidence.• isbalanced- positive and negative• isspecific- with clear facts and examples• isdescriptive(not evaluative) - how the receiver behaves, not who they are• if ‘developmental’, refers to something the receiver can change - and offers an idea of how to change• acknowledge the other person’s strengths and good points•empathise• discuss solutions• highlight benefits to both parties• try to end on a positive note
Brown & Leigh’s (1996) Constructive feedback RulesDESCRIPTIVEnon-judgemental, based onbehaviournot personalityBAD: "I think you’re selfish in that you don’t listen to anyone else”GOOD: "I notice that you don’t look at people when they are talking to you".Both these comments can apply to the same situation, but the second describes what is happening, whereas the first is judgmental. The second gives information which the other person would find difficult to dispute, but relatively easy to take action on. The first is more likely to provoke a defensive reaction, with little chance of any resultant improvement.SPECIFICorfocussed; In order to focus developmental feedback:-a) avoid personal commentsPOOR: ‘you fool! Cant you remember that I needed these accounts for the meeting yesterday?’GOOD: “Shirley, I need the accounts for 2pm on Friday for the management meeting later in the afternoon
b) Avoid Mixed MessagesPOOR: “John, you always look as if you have just got out of bed but patients clearly like you”GOOD: ‘John, can I be so bold as to suggest you take more effort with your appearance in order to make a better impression? I’m just think what first impressions patients might make – what do you think?’c) Avoid diffusionPOOR: ‘You’re not very good at relating to patients. You have to improve.’GOOD: ‘Richard, do you think your difficulty with patients might be because you need to identify their ideas and concerns a bit more?. Can we talk about it & work out some plans to improve?’DIRECTEDtowardsbehaviourthat can be changed. Feed back on observedbehaviourand a way of doing this is to focus on what the individual has said or done; don't make subjectivejudgements.POOR: “why the poker face? You always look miserable”GOOD: ‘I’m wondering if you smiled a bit more, patients might engage more?”
TIMELYgiven as close to the event as possible (taking account of the person’s readinessetc)SELECTIVEaddressing one or two key issues rather than too many at onceSUGGESTIONS rather than PRESCRIPTIONSfeedback should be in the form of suggestions rather than prescriptive comments)“I wonder if….”; “Do you think it might have been helpful if…..”; “Have you any thoughts on ….”; “What if….. what do you think?”
PENDLETON’S RULES FOR FEEDBACKPendletons(1984) rules of Feedback1. The trainee is asked to start by identifying his or her own strengthsThe trainer reinforces these and adds further strengthsThe trainee is asked to identify areas for improvement4. The trainer reinforces these, adding further areas if necessaryThis structure works on the simple principle of an emotional bank balance: that withdrawals cannot be sustained without credits in place first.
Other HOT TIPS• Importance of Congruency, Consistency & Honesty• ‘feedback that doesn’t talk about the other is just talking about yourself’Often, criticism is disguised as feedback. Criticism is NOT feedback and is often delivered more to make the giver feel better than to really help the recipient improve their performance.• Feedback should be constructive not destructiveTurn negative feedback into positive suggestions.Eg‘the fact that you remained seated when Anne came in seemed unwelcoming. I think if you had walked over and greeted her, it would have helped put her at her ease’
Bedescriptive rather then evaluateTell the person what you saw or heard and the effect it had on you, rather than merely something was good or bad.Eg‘the tone of voice as you said that really made me feel you were concerned.’ Is better than ‘that was good’• Start with the positive…………..Accept and digest the feedback, especially the positive. It often helps for therecieverto hear what he/she did well first before going on to what can be done differently. Unfortunately we live in a culture thatemphasisesthe negative. If the positive is registered first, any negative is more likely to be listened to and acted on.•Prioritiseyour feedback - don't overload the receiverOnly one or two points at any one session! Don’t save all the mistakes for one go. Developmental feedback to be effective needs to concentrate on one correction at a time
Give motivational feedback before formative - don't start on a negative when you have a positive to offer too.• Be clear about what the individual did well and what he or she could do to improve• Ask questions when giving feedback - don't make the conversation one-sided; ask the individual what he or she thinks they did well, and where he or she thinks there's room for improvement.
Time your feedback - say it while it's fresh; don't wait until a long time after the event.• Own the feedback - don't feed back onbehaviourthat you have not observed but that has been reported to you by someone else. Use ‘I’ comments.• Have a positive intention when you give feedbackDon't use feedback to 'get at someone'; the purpose of feedback is to help the individual.• Leave the recipient with a choiceDon’t demand a change…because it is more likely to meet up with resistance. Rather, skilled feedback offers people information about whether to act on it or not. It can help us to examine the consequences of changevsno change, but it cannot involve prescribing change.
Methods of GIVING feedbackThe choice of feedback mechanism will often depend on the nature and purpose of the task. Useful feedback can be received from a range of people (egtutors, employers, peers, self) and students should be encouraged to make effective use of feedback from a variety of sources.1. Unconditional attention2. Applause3.Behaviouralgestures4. Written forms of feedback5. Creative communication & exploration6. walk & talk (a way of looking away)……...going for a walk and the two of you talking and reflecting.7. Mirroring and paraphrasing……………..”So you think that you need to….”8. Giving scores……………………………5 stars, number of thumbs upetc9. ‘Carrots’…………………………………also provides a useful incentive
HANDLING BAD REACTIONS TO FEEDBACKTrying to tear downdefencesis not constructive – they are there for a reason. There are various strategies for reducing or eliminating defensiveness. Pendleton’s method should hopefully prevent this from occurring. However, if it does occur and persist, try the following:• Name and explore the resistance – ‘You seem bothered by this. Help me understand why’• Keep the focus positive – ‘Let’s recap your strengths and see if we can build on any of these to help address this problem’• Try to convince the trainee to own one part of the problem – ‘So you would accept that on that occasion you did lose your temper’• Negotiate – ‘I can help you with this issue, but first I need you to commit to….’• Allow time out – ‘Do you need some time to think about this?’• If the recipient shows emotion: listen actively,empathise. You may need to postpone any further discussion until later.• Explore the resistance to understand it – ‘Help me to understand more about why you feel so angry’
Keep the responsibility where it belongs – ‘What will you do to address this?’• If the recipient is in denial: reiterate the facts, what you saw or heard• If the recipient of the feedback goes into justification: refer the individual to the standards expected of him or her and ask the person what he or she could do differently to prevent the situation happening again.