The following is from Get Loud! Youth Engagement Workshop Guide by Adam Fletcher.
Use the following model to provide practice giving and receiving feedback:
I feel [feeling] when you [behavior] because [impact on you].
- Instead of “You irresponsible jerk! Where were you yesterday? We can never count on you!”
- Try “I felt irritated when you didn’t show up at the meeting yesterday because we had to postpone our goal setting.”
Rule 1: Focus on behaviors and actions, not personality.
- Instead of “You’re a totally domineering loudmouth!”
- Try “I felt frustrated at yesterday’s meeting when you interrupted several people to make your own points because I didn’t get to hear what they had to say.”
Rule 2: Be specific and concrete, avoiding vagueness and generalizations.
- Instead of “You are always late for things.”
- Try “I was upset when you came late to the event because I had to do your work as well as my own.”
TIP If you can’t come up with a concrete example, think again about the feedback you are trying to give. Is it accurate, or just your perception?
Rule 3: Time your feedback well.
- Don’t give feedback so long after the actual incident that he\she has trouble even remembering.
- Don’t give feedback so soon after the incident that the person isn’t really ready to hear it.
- Don’t give feedback when the person isn’t ready to listen. For example, he/she is on the way out and doesn’t
- have time, is with a group of people, or is in a bad mood.
- Do pick a good time and place so that you both can be focused and capable of listening.
Rule 4: Do no harm.
- Don’t just go off on someone so that you feel better.
- Check your attitude and your motivations for giving feedback before you speak. Ask yourself why you want
- to give this person feedback.
- Do sincerely try to give people information that is going to help them and be reasonable with your expectations.
Rule 5: Deal with one item of information at a time.
- Don’t say, “I feel angry when you don’t take out the trash or do the dishes or pick up your things or vacuum the floor because this place is a mess!”
- Don’t confuse the receiver with lots of big words or go into a long drawn-out speech and get straight to the point.
- Do pick one thing to focus on for now.
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