Sylvia Henderson

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SL Column: Feedback

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     As an experienced motorcycle rider, I am sometimes approached by new riders fresh out of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s basic riding skills classes. New riders ask for feedback on their techniques and riding style to improve their riding skills.

     As a meetings professional, you find yourself giving feedback on the myriad aspects of successful events to the people who help make them happen. Use the following guidance to give feedback effectively.

  • Get permission to give feedback. Without permission, the other person is seldom ready to receive your words.
  • Make it timely. Feedback should be immediate or as soon after the situation requiring feedback as possible.
  • Make it private. Avoid giving feedback – especially corrective feedback – where other people can hear you. The other person may be embarrassed.
  • Stick to performance, not personalities. Give feedback on things that the other person can correct or change.
  • Check for understanding. Make sure your message is received clearly and allow the other person to question you for clarification.
  • Offer alternatives and solutions. Identifying areas of concern or improvement is good. Even better is to offer solutions.

     Practice giving effective feedback and you serve as a trusted teacher, mentor, and leader to others.

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