Why it’s good to feed back

Whyit's good to feed back

Table of contents

Cheering from the sidelines

I was watching my eight-year-old daughter play Netball a few weeks ago. She was playing in a tournament with five other local teams. I’m not a Netball expert (yet) but I understand the basics and having played a lot of rugby and football in my youth, I know what’s important when playing team sports. I  know how having someone cheering you on can truly lift your spirits.I also know how beneficial it can be to have someone give you constructive criticism. All this made me reflect on how the act of giving feedback is important in many aspects of my life.

Show you care

When I gave my daughter and her team positive feedback, the results were enjoyable to watch. They either smiled back, responded with a little burst of energy on the court, or sometimes even gave their own positive feedback to others in the team!

I also shared feedback with the team on what they could do better. I was careful with how to do this, but when delivered with tact, they responded well to it. They seemed glad that I was helping them do well.

I was showing I cared.

coach giving feedback to a sports team

Knowing your value

As a Programme Manager here at BAD, I’m constantly giving feedback. I’m no expert on HTML or designing learning programmes, but I do make sure that I give feedback on an individual’s performance where I do feel qualified. These are areas such as effective communication, time management, and the ability to make decisions for the good of the project.

I will also always make sure I pass on any positive feedback I’ve received on behalf of the team from our clients.

I also believe empathy is one of the most important traits I can display in my role.

Giving feedback when something hasn’t been done quite right  is just as important. In my experience, even though it’s not nice giving someone bad news, they’re always glad you did. 

And if you didn’t care about that person, you wouldn’t spend time helping them improve.

The science of feedback

When the decisions we make affect others – such as on a client project or in a netball team – we can sometimes have doubts as to whether they were the right decisions. If we’re not sure about what we’re doing is right, how can we expect to work at our best? 

The answer is that we look for information which provides clarity on our actions. It allows us to determine if we should re-evaluate our understanding or change our behaviour. In fact behavioural science findings tell us that feedback allows people to determine if they should re-evaluate their understanding or behaviour. (Hattie & Timperley, 2007)

colleague giving feedback to another colleague

Have a feedback system

Some of the tasks that my team carry out can last weeks. Even though we communicate frequently, people can often work in silo and not share their work with others very often. I’ve trialled having more internal reviews of people’s work, rather than waiting to the end of the task before sharing, and it’s had some great results. 

Not only does this reduce the risk of having to make large scale changes.It promotes a culture of giving and receiving feedback and gives people the boost they might need when they’re not sure how their work will be received. 

Splitting the tasks up into shorter chunks also helps keep people engaged, allowing them to complete tasks more often and gain a sense of satisfaction and progress.

Providing feedback has so many benefits and forms a large part of the learning programmes we design.

So if you need help with designing an engaging digital  experience with learner feedback at its heart, then don’t hesitate to contact us here at BAD.

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