karcher@joniandfriends.org[email protected]

Giving and receiving feedback is so necessary to the ability to improve and provide helpful education to others.
I believe that a “sandwich” of feedback is most receivable – positive, negative, positive. And, that being as objective as possible with the feedback, keeping in mind how, when and where the receiver is hearing it, will assist in the understanding and implementation of the information.

I once had someone give me very negative feedback in an anonymous survey where I could not find any positive comments and didn’t have any opportunity for follow up. The negatives were generalized statements, without specific examples and did not line up with the verbal comments that this person had been providing. This left confused and wondering how to improve, and wondering about the root of the comments. It didn’t result in any specific action, except that I felt “abused” and suspicious of the writer’s comments.

On the other hand, I was recipient of some very helpful feedback, naming specific dates and times and objective actions which precipitated a negative result. While this was difficult to hear, I was able to make very objective improvements immediately and felt good about the improved result! This was done in person, and I was able to go back and “make things right”. This strengthened my relationship with that person and gained me respect in their eyes because of my response to their feedback.