Feedback – Describing the benefits of giving & receiving feedback for personal development.
Giving & receiving feedback – Milne (2010) asserts that giving & receiving feedback is a valuable source of material for self-enquiry, giving us both insights into both positive and negative aspects of our personalities.’
Milne (2010) also asserts that we should be mindful that not all feedback is valid or beneficial to personal development as some feedback may be given from a bias perspective or from an untrained observer, which is not likely to benefit personal development.
Milne et el (2010) suggests that giving feedback in the context of a training environment requires honesty and humility. The provider should give a sincere and unbiased appraisal. I agree with Milne et al that assuming that feedback is given on that basis, the benefits to the receiver is to have an honest and sensitive assessment of their strengths and weaknesses in the way they apply various skills in helping relationship. It is also true in my view that feedback in everyday situations for example work appraisals can benefit personal development if the feedback is constructive and unbiased. Knowing where improvement is needed through constructive feedback will enable personal development. It has been my experience that giving and receiving feedback has benefited my personal development.
Giving feedback has in my experience given me confidence in my ability and therefore encouraged personal development. For example when I have given feedback in my role as an observer in triad work to the listener, I have found them very appreciative of my comments and this has given me greater confidence an insight in myself and my ability to observe others work. It has also made me feel confident about my ability to give feedback to others in a classroom situation and in everyday situations.
Milne (2010) asserts that receiving feedback whether from one or several sources can benefit performance and that feedback gives us an insight into how we react to others and how they react to us. Milne adds the feedback we receive about our performance may be very different from the view we have of our self. For example we might be of the opinion we have open body language suited to a helping relationship when in fact we do not. We can then benefit from this information and use the opportunity to scrutinize ourselves further and find ways to resolve the issues and continue our personal development.
The feedback I have received in triad practice within the counselling course has provided me with very positive information about my body language when performing a listening role. This feedback from class members has given me confidence which has been underpinned by similar feedback from my tutor. Knowing that this feedback is well considred, constructive and unbiased it has made me feel self-assured.
I have also benefited from the feedback by my tutor on my Personal Diary. This was a great boost to myself esteem to know I had understood what was expected of me in this section of the course. I feel receiving feedback has benefited my personal development as it has given me the confidence. However not all the feedback I have received has been positive. I have experienced some negative feedback from an observer in triad work.
The observer commented that I blinked too much – this I felt had little to do with my ability to use silence and reflecting skills, but the observer felt it did. This did initially make me feel self consious in performing this role in the future, but I was able to reflect on the feedback and draw positives from it. The observer had not given feedback on my ability to use silence or reflective skills but only on my blinking. I feel in this instance the feedback was not useful or constructive and of no real benefit as my blinking is natural to me.
The same observer also commented on my not leaning forward right from the beginning of the session when the speaker started talking, when I was playing the role of the listener. The feedback in this instance was useful in terms of making me review my performance and scrutinize my behavior and body language as a listener. I concluded from this that my actions were correct in that I leant forward in a more natural way as the speaker got into their stride, rather than leaning forward from the second they started speaking and when nothing they had said warranted me leaning forward. This evaluation gave me a good sense about my own self-awareness and my ability to not over react to feedback, but to look at its real value to me and my view of the persons ability giving it rather than just accepting it. This I feel was a significant step in myself development as I was able to self scrutinize and value my own analysis of the situation and be confident in this.
I have also noticed that I am more open to feedback outside the classroom environment and I am able to take it onboard without becoming defensive and feeling undermined. For example a friend of mine who is very outspoken, recently commented on some of my artwork. Her comments were very positive about the artwork and I was greatly encouraged by her feedback as I know it was sincere. This spurred me on to do more paintings in this genre and further develop my skills. Overall I have found both giving and receiving feedback has been of benefit to my personal development as it made me more self-aware and self-assured.
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