Feedback is an important aspect of my work…not just that I provide feedback to new colleagues about their work, but I also try and actively seek feedback on the work that I have done. Sounds like I am a good employee who constantly try and do a better job huh…like real….haha:P
In reality, giving and recieving feedback and comments are really part of my job. I often get asked to do some classroom observations, comments on curriculum and assessment plans that my colleague have done. …Not that I am better than them ( NO…I really am not!), but just to take a look as an external person giving comments and thoughts about the piece of work.
It is not easy to give feedback and the “giver” seems to be in a more superior position. This is not true, as many of the constructive comments I have received are from people how are viewing what I do with “layman’s eyes” and giving me a fresh perspective on my work. Many people think that “feedback” tends to be negative and are often defensive about it. Some people even chose not to give constructive feedback in order to maintain the “peace”. Like many of my students who had to do peer evaluations of their team mates…..many would say neutral things about their team mates…unless they are really really bad. And I think that is the reason why people are so wary about feedback & comments. Usually when it comes..not matter how nicely packaged it is, it still brings along the tone of “ you didn’t do well, that is why you were given feedback”.
But have we all just gave “feedback” a bad reputation? I have always found feedback useful for my personal reflections, and I do take them seriously. But I realised that people have a tendency not to give comments, be it good or bad. Is it because we don’t know what to say or we cannot be bothered to say it? Personally, I would much rather say it ( be it good or bad) than not to say anything…..cos when you don’t say anything, it shows that you don’t really bother very much with the person/event. Then again, this attitude has often being mistaken as arrogance and judgemental…just for commenting a little more than others.
My good friend KH once said this to me…. “when you stop commenting, you are telling them that you no longer care about them, cos you only comment on people and things that you think are important and you want them to improve and learn….and when you stop commenting, you no longer bother with them anymore and there is no need to teach them to be smarter”.
Would I still continue to make comments? I think so…but I have also learnt to be smart about it. I don’t think I am being selfish, but just cautious about how receptive comments and feedback can be. Like KH says, I should be selective. It is not that I don’t “care” any more but just that I have not need to “teach others what they don’t want to learn” :P