American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Giving Effective Feedback-A Two-Way Street

Mentors: It is important to be able to give your mentee feedback on how the relationship is progressing.

Mentees: It is also important for you to know how to receive feedback well, as this is the way you will grow and learn.

Few people are able to give feedback well; most people give primarily negative or primarily positive feedback. It is also difficult for many people to receive feedback. When they receive positive feedback, they are embarrassed and discredit it. When they receive negative feedback, most become defensive.

Good feedback is a gift. It is hard for anybody to improve without it. If we do not understand our strengths and developmental needs, it is hard to know how to develop and learn.

Effective Feedback Is...

  • given for a good reason
  • specific and descriptive
  • relevant
  • about behavior that can be changed
  • given at appropriate time (usually right after observation but in appropriate setting)
  • open to discussion
  • a balance of positive and negative

How to Provide Effective Feedback

  • Do not attempt to give feedback until you have established the correct climate: a strong, trusting relationship.
  • Explain that the purpose of feedback is to share perceptions of what is currently working, not working, and to try to improve and learn.
  • Give feedback only after using good listening skills to understand the other's perspective.

Characteristics of Excellent Mentors | Dealing with Possible Problems

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