Give Feedback That Feeds Not Deprives

For many, the most valuable aspect of Toastmasters is the feedback they give and receive. We support each other through feedback that encourage others to continue practising and learning. Members who receive thoughtful feedback feel heard and become motivated to improve. 

I have in most instances sat in the most cringe-worthy feedback sessions where an evaluator takes this huge responsibility bestowed upon them as a plat form to be rude, insensitive and completely disregard the importance of feedback, which is to inspire.

The word “Feedback” broken down consists of two words “feed” and “back”. To feed means “give food to or nourish” back means “to return”. Given the meaning of these words, feedback ought to nourish the speaker and not otherwise. When giving feedback it is important to think to ourselves will this feed, give food back to the person I am evaluating or will it deprive them of the good food that could nourish them. The same way food gives life to all beings and helps them grow is exactly what your feedback or evaluation must do!

Our purpose as evaluators is to provide honest reaction in a constructive manner to the person’s efforts. We are not to be judges or an authority on speaking or leadership. When we evaluate, we are simply giving our own reaction to the person’s efforts. Whilst carrying out this important responsibility I would like to urge you all to exercise compassion and give out evaluations that can feed back to the person you are assisting.

Keep in mind that you cannot change the person’s behavior or force the person to accept your ideas and suggested improvements. But through your evaluation you can provide information that the speaker or leader may consider grow from and be fed to success!

Remember When you know better, you do better! “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” – Amelia Earhart 

by Enkromelle Andrew