Feedback for success

Giving and receiving feedback for positive outcomes.

Leadership resources can be found at many University Extension websites. One place that has great resources that I always look forward to hearing from on a weekly basis is Ohio State University Extension. They have a Leadership Center with excellent links to workshops, a blog and other resources. Even better, the group issues a weekly Leadership Moments newsletter that individuals can subscribe to.

A recent newsletter article was on “The power of feedback: Giving, seeking, and using feedback for performance improvement” by Manuel London.

The newsletter highlighted the benefits of feedback in a few key points: 

“Feedback directs behavior - that is, it keeps goal-directed behavior on course.

  • Feedback influences future performance goals, essentially creating objectives for achieving higher levels of performance in the future.
  • Positive feedback is reinforcing in and of itself.
  • Feedback increases people’s ability to detect errors on their own.
  • Feedback enhances individual learning.
  • Feedback increases motivation by demonstrating what behaviors contribute to successful performance.
  • Feedback helps people clarify their beliefs about the effects of their behavior.
  • People learn what aspects of the situation beyond their control influence these outcomes.
  • People used to receiving feedback learn to seek it out.
  • In a group setting, feedback focuses group members’ attention on the same performance elements and provides all group members with a common perspective.
  • Feedback increases feelings of control and power.
  • Regular feedback helps people feel they can cope with performance problems by being able to make incremental changes in their behavior and see the effects.
  • Feedback increases people’s feelings of involvement in a task.
  • In negotiations, feedback is a mechanism for evaluating offers.
  • In decision making, feedback about the results of the decisions helps groups and individual recognize biases and avoid these biases in the future (p. 19-20).”

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development explains in “Seven Keys to Effective Feedback” by Grant Wiggins that whether feedback is just there to be grasped or is provided by another person, helpful feedback is goal-referenced; tangible and transparent; actionable; user-friendly (specific and personalized); timely; ongoing; and consistent. The article then goes on to detail each one of those seven key components to helpful feedback in the education realm, which appears applicable in other settings as well.

Seek out opportunities to give and receive thoughtful feedback to strengthen leadership skills to motivate yourself and others to achieve goals.

The Michigan State University Extension Leadership and Community Engagement team offers professional development training, including volunteer board development, communicating through conflict, meeting management and facilitation skills development, and organizational strategic visioning and planning.

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