Should we be impartial when giving feedback, or should we be guided by empathy and understanding? In the entry I will present a proposal for the provision of coaching information by the leader to the teachers and by the teacher to the students.
Many stereotypes about leadership are based on presenting the image of a tough leader, capable of making quick decisions and giving clear instructions to subordinates. We also have an extremely different proposal for the concept of leadership, which focuses on building trust and cooperation in the team. But research shows that the most effective leaders do both. The leadership Ciecle Profile conducted a study (a system for monitoring the progress of employees in achieving their goals, the so-called “leadership profile”). 360) and found that caring and cooperative skills are 85% correlated with being a good leader, and assertive and goal-oriented skills are 91% correlated with leadership effectiveness.
Therefore, effective leaders choose which of their skills they will use depending on the situation.
Sometimes too much empathy can prevent the recipient of the feedback from understanding it and can weaken the communication of the requirements. In turn, dry presentation of facts can be considered criticism and only trigger a defense mechanism.
Many leaders use the so-called feedback sandwich. So first-something nice appreciative, then criticism and finally again something positive. This method, if we have to convey a difficult truth, usually works. But there are situations when it causes you to slip through difficulties. The person receiving the feedback in the form of a sandwich can forget about the essence of the instructions in the middle of the message and be content only with the positive packaging.
The key issue for feedback is therefore its authenticity. It can be achieved through so-called “Hard Love”, which consists in a desire to help and treat with respect, but-most importantly-without leniency. Good feedback is to convey the truth while expressing understanding, compassion and willingness to help you succeed.
Coaching feedback does not tell you how to do something, but it creates a safe space where you can try and solve the problem yourself.
Certainly, not all feedback can be coaching, but certainly each can take place in a safe space, without feeling excessive (or too personal) evaluation.
When giving coaching feedback, it is important to remember important principles. Here are some tips:
You decide what form of feedback you use. Decide if this is a situation that deserves a “hard love” approach. Is the person to whom you want to convey the information convinced of your good intentions, or do you have a good relationship with them?
You probably know what the right thing to do in a situation is. which applies to the person you are giving feedback to. You need to describe what it looks like, so that the person you are giving guidance understands exactly what it is. This can cause a discussion and dialogue between you and the interlocutor. There is no need to be afraid of this, it will help to see a common vision of success and will not limit you only to what was done wrong.
Let me find solutions
It is not always worth showing the solution and the desired change, sometimes it is better to let the person to come to it. This means refraining from talking about how to do something and allowing the interlocutor to analyze what he has done so far. There is not always enough time to look for solutions on an ongoing basis, you can make an appointment for the next meeting and then discuss the proposal of the person receiving the feedback.
The most important thing is to convince the person receiving the feedback of your good intentions, understanding and willingness to help. It is important not to count on an immediate change, patience is needed. Sometimes it is difficult for us to distance ourselves from our personal opinion about a person. Then you have to focus on the evidence, on the justification of the opinion. In a conversation, you need to have evidence of your opinions.
These tips will certainly be useful for leaders giving feedback to coworkers, but they can also be taken into account by a teacher giving feedback to a student.
Tips for the teacher could look like this:
The teacher decides on the form of feedback. Therefore, you can adapt it to the student, to the class, to the situation. Not every student needs to receive the same feedback.
The teacher knows what a well-done student’s work should look like. If the student did not do it well, it is because he did not know how to achieve success, or maybe he did not even know what success is supposed to be. Providing students with success criteria before completing their work can help to avoid this situation. However, when giving feedback, it is also worth leaving room to explain to the student what a well-done job should look like.
Let us look for solutions
You can tell the student: what he did right, what he did wrong and how to improve. However, it will be more beneficial if the student himself finds his shortcomings and the way to improve them. This requires listening to the student and giving him time to analyze his work.
The purpose of feedback is neither criticism nor final evaluation of the work. It is very important that the student perceives the information provided as being based on the teacher’s good intentions, guidance that helps in further development, and that it does not constitute an assessment of the work for him. Feedback is supposed to help, not criticize. Therefore, it is worth making sure that the most specific tips prevail in it and it is worth not focusing on an immediate change. Patience is needed in anticipation of the results of the student’s work.