Being able to give and receive feedback is a core skill you will learn in your studies at University which will support the level of your academic work and then as you progress in the world of work.
Put simply, feedback is questioning and critiquing in an objective and constructive way a piece of work, whether it be a concept or idea or performance.
It can be given in various ways, for example face to face, in a group or one to one, online via discussion forums or video chats, or in writing.
Throughout your time at York both giving and receiving feedback is likely to be required of you. This is to support your own development and the development of group work and your peers and will:
This skills of giving and receiving feedback you are developing at University will be critical for you in the workplace after graduation.
In the workplace it’s crucial to work together to maintain good relationships. The world is constantly changing at a rapid pace, and that means that in the workplace you and the teams and organisations you work with will need to review and adapt work and processes constantly, so getting into the practice of this now will support you to be agile and perform well later.
...explaining to a team member what you appreciate and think is good about their ideas or contributions; questioning areas of their ideas that you do not fully understand or feel could be developed further; or objectively explaining where you feel an idea or presentation does not work as well as it could (either verbally or online chat function)
...agreeing and developing on another students analysis or observation, or providing a different perspective (either verbally or online chat function)
... to help the module leader assess what worked well, what could be better and constructive ideas for improvement from a student experience perspective
Explain concisely what you feel the person, project, idea or approach is doing right in terms of the objective (the objective could be the assignment brief, project goal or presentation aim). Use language such as: ‘Have you considered…’ or ‘I wonder if...’ “I understand where you are coming from here however looking at it from the view point of...”
Focus on the work, not on the person.
It’s more productive to invite discussion, to gain insight into the other person’s approach and work collaboratively on a way forward.
Giving professional feedback in the workplace might look like:
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...what you did well and what you could improve on for an academic assignment from your module leader
...receiving positive comments, questions and/or suggestions from your peers on your contribution. This could include feedback on your ideas, written contribution, presentation content and delivery or your overall contribution and effect on the group
...questions, observations, different perspectives to consider or suggestions from peers in seminars in a classroom face to face or virtually through video call, audibly or on the chat function.
...to the feedback you are being given and focus on what is objective in that feedback. What are the points being made for improvement? Ask yourself: how could this different approach could improve the quality of my work or performance?
...and engage in conversation about the content of the feedback. If it’s new information, find out more and discuss the implications to your work or performance. Ask for further advice if you need it
Thank the person for their time and feedback.
Receiving feedback in the world of work might look like:
Feedback from all sources is extremely valuable.
A common mistake to avoid is to discard feedback from your peers, whether this be in your studies from fellow students or in the workplace from your colleagues.
It is crucial to work together and take on board information, data and perspectives to continuously improve and also to maintain good relationships for working dynamics.
It is difficult not to be defensive when receiving feedback. It does take effort to be open to other’s suggestions and you can feel a bit “under attack”. Feedback is a key source of professional development, so it is important not to close yourself off to it.