July 30, 2019

Good feedback

Good feedback is:

  • Objective.   ‘You’re crap at this’  doesn’t help.   “You tend to pull to the left” does.
  • Specific.  “Try harder” doesn’t help.   “Try aiming to the right of where you want to land” does.
  • Enabling.  “Like this” doesn’t help.  “Let me put your arm in the right place so you can feel how it should be” does.
  • Timely.  “A week ago you threw short” doesn’t help.   “That last throw was only out by an inch” does.

Feedback is good when it tells the recipient something about the process, because the process is what you have to change to improve the result.

Feedback is even better if it can come from the process itself, because then the person running the process has autonomy as well as responsibility.

A cattle-prod, physical or emotional, isn’t feedback.  It’s just bullying.