Diagnostic Challenge

Providing Valuable Feedback

Client feedback is a very valuable aspect of the DC program for our students. It is not often that the we receive feedback from the people we are serving.

The way for each of us to grow and improve is to receive specific feedback that identifies things we can do better and to hear specific, well thought-out recommendations. During the week of the DC program we will be spending time addressing how to give and receive feedback.

Below are a few points to keep in mind as you start your DC experience:

Feedback Main Points:

  • Start with the Positive
    • Focus on the positive – when you share a positive action during the feedback, you are reinforcing that action for the student. Where possible, give positive feedback first and last.
  • Be Specific
    • Try to avoid general comments which are not useful when it comes to developing skills (i.e. “You did a excellent job!”). It may be great to hear but they do not give enough detail to be a helpful source of learning. Try to pin-point what the person did which lead you to use the label “excellent.”
  • Refer to the behavior that can be changed
    • Focus on the behavior rather than on the person- When you focus on the person’s behavior, you are more likely to secure change. A person can change his or her behavior, not himself or herself
  • Be Descriptive rather than evaluative
    • Tell the person what you saw or heard and the effect it had on you, rather than merely something was “good”, “bad”, etc.
  • Offer alternatives
    • If you do offer negative feedback then do not simply criticize but suggest what the person could have done differently. Turn negative feedback into a positive suggestion.
  • Own the feedback
    • Focus on ‘I’ statements – An ‘I’ statement is a statement about what you feel and/or think (Example: ‘I feel irritated when you speak over me during discussions). This differs from ‘You’ statements, as these tell the other person how he or she is, thinks or feels (Example: ‘You irritate me when you constantly speak over me.)
  • Utilize the 5 Key Question for Observation (from the Note Taking Section)

Printable version of the feedback points, click here!