Tuesday, July 28, 2020

learning by doing: The art of gaining feedback

At the heart of action is reflection. Reflection is generated by feedback. We can gain feedback in at least 7 ways. Each has advantages and disadvantages. With feedback, we honour the other. From feedback, we begin to learn.

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

1 – Formative participant feedback; informally

Formative because this feedback is generated during a process. We watch body language. We attend to the pauses. We analyse the words being used – the depth of feeling, the type of verbs. We mirror what we hear and ask clarifying questions.

2 – Summative participant feedback; evaluation

We choose questions carefully and through survey (or chat), often at the end of a session or programme, we invite comment. This tends to be written and thus individual. What should we start? What should we stop? What should we keep?

3 – Summative group feedback; together

We create opportunity for the group to engage together. This allows for moderation, challenge, affirmation among the group. As they talk, we listen. We might record or ask someone to take notes.

I was most enlivened by; I did not realise that; We were at our best as a group when we; The most challenging part of our time together as a group was; I am thankful to God for

4 – Reflect on the spoken group work

We keep track of who speaks, paying particular attention to diversity and frequency. We reflect this back, thus shaping the experience. Who has not spoken? Are particular voices not being heard?

5 – Peer review

We invite an external colleague – friend, mentor – to watch us. It might be live. It might be a recording. We ask them to give us their feedback.

6 – Reflect on written interaction

After the event, we analyse the chat or contemplate the whiteboard. We analyse the words being used – the depth of feeling, the type of verbs. We consider the questions being asked. Where they addressed? What do they say about interest and engagement?

7 – Our own experiences

We journal a moment. In half a page, we seek in clear, simple words, to capture the experience: something that made us uncomfortable; something that felt significant; something that seemed to go well. We then turn to analyse what we have written. Now that our experience is outside us, is there a key word or phrase? Is there a 1 sentence summary?

In each of these 7 ways, we are paying attention. The feedback is returning us to the action. Contemplation is from the Latin, con – meaning with and templum – meaning temple. We are daring to believe that in the action is the Divine. God is present. This is holy ground. As we are with God, we see ourselves and others more clearly. We are open to grow. There will be thanks and confession, prayer and petition. Such is the gift of feedback.

Posted by steve at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

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