Friday, June 5, 2015

Feedback and Conversations are all about talking, listening, thinking and then repeating...


After spending a day, actually about 10 days total this year, learning about giving good feedback to teachers, coaches, and all instructors I think I have come to a realization that all conversations are crucially important.  Equally important is the approach you take.  Your approach to these conversations drive the message.  You must talk, listen, think, and repeat.  If decisions or conversations do not take this path, mistakes and poor decisions will be made.

Starters like:

I wonder why you did..... (sends a message of questioning)
I liked how you.... (sends a message of assurance)
Tell me more about... (shows genuine interest)
What if you... (sends a message to push one's thinking)
What did you mean when you said/did... (more clarification needed)


There are many more, but those first few lines when you are giving feedback or having a conversation are so crucial and important.  Those are what really drive that conversation/feedback.  They need to be well thought out as your message to follow is driven by your approach.

When having a conversation a message is going to be sent, make sure it is the message that you want to send.  Don't derail your conversation/feedback before is starts by picking the wrong approach or having no approach at all.  This is so crucial as we try to build trusting relationships with those we work WITH.  

Allow those we are talking with to talk.  Push their thinking with questions, but it is that act of talking, thinking, listening and repeat that filters out what is truly being attempted or tried.  Teaching has always been called a practice, treat conversation/feedback the same way.  We are practicing to be better every day, but remember the more you practice the better you always do.  Being too direct or too wishy washy degrades the message and the conversation.  Through practice we get better, it is the only way.  "The Power of WE" is alive in this process as we are in this together, we learn together, we grow together, we laugh together, and every once in a while we challenge each other.  It is all healthy and needs to be practiced.




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