Feedback

Objectives

  • To practice giving feedback
  • To practice receiving feedback

Materials

  • Whiteboard/chalkboard
  • Dry erase markers or chalk
  • Paper
  • Pens or pencils
  • “Sample Essays” handout (1 per participant)

Prepare Before

Before the session, draw a feedback sandwich on the whiteboard/chalkboard.


Warm Up

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been given praise for a job well done.  Raise your hand if you’ve ever been reprimanded or made to feel uncomfortable about a job that wasn’t well done.

Experience

We’re going to practice creating a feedback sandwich.  How are sandwiches put together?  A feedback sandwich, or the sandwich method, uses positive comments as the bread and areas for change comments as the meat in the middle.  So, when we critique or give feedback to people, we will start with a positive comment, give some feedback in the areas of change and end with a positive comment. For example, we might start with “What I liked.” followed by “What I would change is…” and closing with “What I liked…”

Have the students think back to a movie that they have seen recently.  Have them write down their own feedback sandwich to the director of the movie.

Reflect

Facilitate a discussion using the following reflection questions:

  • Was it easy to find some areas to critique?
  • Was it easy to give your feedback?  What was so easy about it?
  • What was challenging about giving the feedback?
  • Why do you think that it would be hard to hear criticism?
  • Is there a time when criticism isn’t welcome or shouldn’t be given?  When and why?

Summarize

Feedback should be:

  • Given politely.
  • Have an exact purpose to help make things better.
  • Be specific.
    • Rather than saying something was good, give some exact examples of what was good and why. For example, “I liked how you spoke out loud enough for me to hear.” Or “I like how you smiled because it made me feel welcome.”
  • Not be a long list.
    • Comment on a few key things.
  • Said in a way or tone that most would consider easy to take.

Demonstrate

Imagine that a friend of yours has just written a one page essay about why she/he would be a good candidate for the job at the movie theatre.  If she/he gets the job, they will be able to see all movies for free and get passes for free concessions.  This job is really important to your friend, so she/he asks you to proofread the essay.  You think the essay needs to be better.  It is your job to politely and respectfully give your friend some feedback or criticism using the sandwich method.  You don’t want to hurt your friend’s feelings or make them angry.  What do you say?

Distribute sample essay.

Once they have written their sample feedback, have everyone get in pairs to practice giving their feedback sandwiches.  After everyone has tried it ask who felt that they received a good sandwich.  Have some people demonstrate their sandwich.