| Forestry training manual for the Africa region |
Total time 1 hour
- To review how to give and receive feedback,
- To learn more about ourselves,
- To become more skillful in obtaining and understanding information about the effectiveness of our behavior,
- To become more sensitive to our reactions to others and the consequences of these reactions.
In this session, the trainees are given exposure to established methods of sending and receiving feedback. The positive and negative impact feedback can have on a Volunteers' service is covered during this session.
Flip charts, marker pens, tape.
Exercise 1 Feedback
Total time 1 hour
The purpose of this exercise is to remind the participants that although they may have had lectures and some practice in feedback, skillful feedback needs to be practiced.
1. The trainer should acknowledge that all of the trainees have been through feedback practice at the CAST, CREST, or Staging and that many may have had an earlier introduction to feedback.
2. He/she asks the individuals to jot down as many feedback rules as they can remember.
3. The trainer produces a newsprint with the following rules:
A. It is honest and frank rather than diplomatic or subtle. It is true reporting of your real feelings and reactions to the behavior of another person. This implies that you are aware of your reactions and are willing to run the risk of possible rejection by sharing them with the other person.
B. It is specific rather than general. To be told that one is dominating will probably not be as useful as to be told that: "Just now you were not listening to what the others said, but I felt I had to agree with your arguments or face attack from you. ·1
C. It is focused on behavior rather than on the person. It is important that we refer to what a person does rather than to what we think or imagine he is. Thus we might say that a person "talked more than anyone else in this meeting" rather than that he is a "loudmouth". The former allows for the possibility of change; the latter implies a fixed personality trait.
D. It takes into account the needs of the receiver of feedback. Feedback can be destructive when it serves only our own needs and fails to consider the needs of the person on the receiving end. It should be given to help, not hurt. We too often give feedback because it makes us feel better or gives us a psychological advantage.
E. It is directed toward behavior about which the receiver can do something. Frustration is only increased when a person is reminded of some shortcomings over which he has no control or a physical characteristic about which he can do nothing.
F. It is solicited, rather than imposed. Feedback is most useful when the receiver himself has formulated the kind of question which one can answer either by observing him or through actively seeking (soliciting) feedback.
G. It involves sharing of information rather than giving advice. By sharing information, we leave a person free to decide for himself, in accordance with his own goals, needs, etc. When we give advice we tell him what to do, and to some degree take away his freedom to decide for himself.
H. It is well-timed. In general, immediate feedback is most useful (depending of course, upon the person's readiness to hear it, support available from others, etc.). The reception and use of feedback involves many possible emotional reactions. Excellent feedback presented at an inappropriate time may do more harm than good.
I. It involves the amount of information that receiver can use rather than the amount we would like to give. To overload a person with feedback is to reduce the possibility that he may be able to use what he receives effectively. When we give more than can be used, we are more often than not satisfying some need of our own rather than helping the other person.
J. It concerns what is said or done, or how, not why. The "why" takes us from the observable to the inferred a involves assumptions regarding motive or intent. Telling a person what his motivations or intentions are more often than not tends to alienate the person, and contributes to a climate of resentment, suspicion, and distrusts it does not contribute to learning or development. It is dangerous to assume that we know why a parson says or doss something, or what he "really" means, or what he is "really" trying to accomplish. If we are uncertain of his motives or intent, this uncertainty in itself is feedback and should be revealed.
K. It is checked to insure clear communication. One way of doing this is to have the receiver try to rephrase the feedback he has received to see if it corresponds to what the Bender had in mind. No matter what the intent, feedback is often threatening and thus subject to considerable distortion or misinterpretation.
4. The trainer gives the following reasons why we want to practice and become more skillful at giving and receiving feedback.
A. By learning to give and receive feedback skillfully, we help ourselves and others become more effective Volunteers.
B. The more we learn about ourselves in this training and how effective our behavior is, the more we will be prepared for our two years as Volunteers.
C. We will also become more sensitive to our reactions to others and the consequences of these reactions in our interpersonal relationships.
5. The trainer asks the group to break into group. of five and brainstorm ways in which we can become more skillful at giving and receiving feedback and fiat ideas on newsprint.
6. The trainer asks the groups to present their fiat to the entire group. 7. By way of summarizing, two trainer models for giving and receiving feedback through short role plays are used. The, feedback should be real, perhaps based upon the record keeping exercise in which the trainees took part. This would help set a climate of openness. It is also important to model positive feedback.