Feedback – essential and delicate

Feeback is a great topic this week.  Just finished reading a simple but wonderful story by Simon Sinek called “Together is Better.”  On page 46 he says

When we are closed to ideas, what we hear is criticism.

When we are open to criticism, what we get it advice.

This is so simply and beautifully stated.  Although I do not have much of an opportunity to give feedback to students, I do frequently have this opportunity with adults.  This week we have been interviewing all over the district for teacher and coordinator positions.  For both internal and external candidates, I am left with the perplexing decision of how much feedback to give.  If it isn’t clear and direct, “it just isn’t a good fit,” there may as well not be any feedback.  However, if it is too direct, or someone is closed to ideas, I could really hurt someone’s feelings and not provide them with what they see as actionable advice.  I so want them to hear the advice, because it could mean they will get the next job.  I recently had a conversation with a superintendent friend who said “I hope I never get fired for the blunt feedback I give after interviews.”  I was a little jealous that he felt that comfortable saying exactly what he meant.  Curious, when I spoke with one of the recipients of that feedback, she heard something completely different from the superintendent’s message.  I will keep trying, if I come up with anything really good, I am definitely writing a book!

If you have any ideas, please share!



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