Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Reflective feedback

Swanson and Fouad propose "five critical components in effective career interventions" of which the first two are "written exercises to enhance personal reflection" and "individualized interpretation and feedback" (2015, p. 257; the other three are LMI, mentoring, and social support). Reflection, followed by feedback, are important ways for us to develop our practice.

So how do we provide constructive, affirmative and reflective feedback?  For good, reflective feedback, there are a number of things we need to focus on: the development of our own professional identity; ourselves, as a practitioner, being a facilitator of change; how feedback aids safe practice; to 'notice' how we integrate theory within our practice; and to continue to develop our own self-awareness as both a practitioner and as a person providing supportive and developmental feedback. Phew!

Providing genuine, thoughtful feedback is a skill that needs a number of characteristics. Firstly, we need to be 'attentive' listeners. Secondly, we need to be able to create distance: to be able to separate the person from their performance.  Then our feedback needs non-evaluative language, avoiding blame. Fourthly, using I statements (i.e. I felt, I remembered, I'm wondering) and owning our feedback makes us kinder. Fifthly, avoid evaluative phrases (i.e. that was awesome), as they may appear 'empty' platitudes; feedback needs more concrete and specific feedback.

Some ideas to help us to think about how to offer feedback are (Carey & Russell, 2003): 

  • Is there anything you would specifically value my commenting on …or a particular way you would like me to offer my feedback… 
  • I noticed… 
  • I particularly liked and am making the link to my own practice… 
  • I am wondering about...
  • I am challenged by....
  • I am not so sure about… 
  • I have learned… 
  • This presentation has taken me to… 
  • I am reminded of… 
  • You have told me something about your professional identity… 
  • I hope this is helpful to you...

But the work of feedback does not stop there: we also need to think about how we ACCEPT the feedback of others. Some ideas when reflecting on feedback given might be (Carey & Russell, 2003)

  • I heard you say… 
  • The impact of your feedback on me is… 
  • Your feedback may be useful to my practice by… 

I hope these help! 


Sam

References

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