What is the problem and how did I come across this problem?
In deciding what to write about in my reflection this week my thoughts took me back to my last week’s reflection entry on feedback and a promotional development opportunity that I went through this week at work. The training information stated that giving only constructive feedback is not enough, but the person giving feedback should consider how they will be giving that feedback. Therefore, how should feedback be given for it to be effective?
How can things be done differently?
After reading this week’s readings on the skills and the learning development of a manager or administrator, I have learnt that successful managers or administrators must have three basic skills in varying degrees depending on the level of responsibilities and one of those is human skill and that they also learn best from experiences. Therefore, taking the previous into consideration, feedback should be given in a way that the feelings of the one receiving the feedback are taken into account. I believe that having the ability to see and feel things from another’s perspective is a vital human skill (human skill -is a must have for a successful manager or administrator) and this skill would be best learnt from experience as noted by Julia and Mark (1984). Since I have experienced that receiving appreciative feedback before a constructive feedback makes things easier to take in, therefore I think this is a better method to use (it’s always better to hear the good news first over the bad).
What action should I now take?
As noted above, appreciative plus constructive feedback is the way to go. Therefore, when I give feedback to future trainees or team members it is always better to spot the good in people before giving the improvements. This method not only ensures that the constructive feedback is given, but that it is surely taken into account (effective) by the person receiving my feedback. This is because some people respond by being defensive, which mostly consists of forgetting the feedback completely and continuously on making the same mistakes. It is okay to make a mistake and learn from it, but it is not beneficial to keep on making the same mistake. But with this method, the receiver will have the impression that you actually really care about their improvement instead of thinking that you only notice their mistakes and not their achievements. Giving feedback is great but giving effective feedback is better.
Davies, J., & Easterby-Smith, M. (1984). Learning and developing from managerial work experiences. Journal of Management Studies, 21(2), 169--182. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6486.1984.tb00230.x
Katz, R. L. (1955). Skills of an effective administrator. Harvard Business Review, 33(1), 33--42.
Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4--15