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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Should I give feedback?

Vieraskieliset / In-english
25.8.2021 7.00

Juttua muokattu:

20.8. 10:35

Text: Joo­nas Ma­ju­ri

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

Why should I give feed­back? What is it for?

I have of­ten come ac­ross si­tu­a­ti­ons where it would have been good to give feed­back. Too of­ten, ho­we­ver, I have not gi­ven any. For­tu­na­te­ly, there is still time to le­arn and de­ve­lop this im­por­tant skill.

Not gi­ving feed­back can in it­self be feed­back. Si­len­ce tel­ls us so­met­hing, or at le­ast it can so­me­ti­mes be in­terp­re­ted as a com­ment or a sta­te­ment. When we ex­pect to get feed­back, but for some re­a­son do not get any, we may draw conc­lu­si­ons ba­sed on tiny de­tails of in­te­rac­ti­on.

No-one seems to ex­pect anyt­hing more, so I gu­ess this le­vel of per­for­man­ce is suf­fi­cient. My text must have been good enough be­cau­se there was no ne­ga­ti­ve feed­back. I found pe­op­le avoi­ding eye con­tact, so I gu­ess my pre­sen­ta­ti­on was not qui­te as good as it could have been…

Well-ti­med po­si­ti­ve feed­back has an un­be­lie­vab­ly po­wer­ful im­pact. My son told me at home that his te­ac­her had com­men­ted on his good sin­ging voi­ce. Fol­lo­wing that com­ment, we have been ab­le to en­joy his be­au­ti­ful sin­ging al­most dai­ly.

Pro­verbs desc­ri­be po­si­ti­ve feed­back with these be­au­ti­ful words: "Like ap­p­les of gold in set­tings of sil­ver is a ru­ling right­ly gi­ven" (Prov. 25:11).

We can al­so give feed­back to our­sel­ves. We ac­tu­al­ly do that all the time, whet­her we want it or not. That phe­no­me­non is cal­led in­ter­nal speech. Which kind of feed­back would you ap­p­re­ci­a­te on yo­ur per­for­man­ce: "It was a comp­le­te fi­as­co!" or "It went well! You did it!" Next time, try gi­ving yo­ur­self the kind of feed­back you would give to yo­ur best friend. I think at le­ast you would not rep­ro­ach or blame yo­ur friend.

Paul gave to him­self the kind of feed­back that we should aim at: "I have fought the good fight, I have fi­nis­hed the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Tim. 4:7).

Feed­back al­so plays an im­por­tant role in le­ar­ning new things. Stu­dents, wor­kers, and even ma­na­gers wor­king to­ward a goal should be in­for­med about their prog­ress. Where have I suc­cee­ded, and what things should I fo­cus on next. It is al­so use­ful to know what things I should imp­ro­ve or cor­rect, and what things I could pos­sib­ly do dif­fe­rent­ly.

Const­ruc­ti­ve or di­rec­ti­ve feed­back can be gi­ven in many ways. The way the feed­back is gi­ven is of­ten more im­por­tant than the ac­tu­al words. We should be par­ti­cu­lar­ly sen­si­ti­ve about this, as we all in­terp­ret things a bit dif­fe­rent­ly.

When gi­ving feed­back to my dear ones about their be­ha­vi­or or so­met­hing ot­her per­so­nal mat­ters, I would like to fol­low the wise ad­vi­ce I have been gi­ven: ”Do not fo­cus yo­ur rep­ro­ach on the per­son but on their be­ha­vi­or.” and "One pie­ce of ne­ga­ti­ve feed­back can­cels at le­ast five po­si­ti­ve ones”.

I know ol­der pe­op­le who have told me about feed­back gi­ven when they were yo­ung. That feed­back pla­yed a cru­ci­al role in their hu­man re­la­ti­ons and ca­reer choi­ces la­ter in their li­ves. One had been told: ”You are so han­dy with that kind of work. Have you thought of get­ting pro­per trai­ning for it?” Anot­her had been told: ”Ma­y­be you should not plan a ca­reer in this kind of work, as you don’t seem to ma­na­ge even that task very well.” I am sure you can ima­gi­ne the con­se­qu­en­ces of the two kinds of feed­back.

Alt­hough such com­ments may have sig­ni­fi­cant im­pacts on hu­man li­ves, we should not be shy about gi­ving feed­back. Rat­her, we should give feed­back free­ly and fre­qu­ent­ly in a po­si­ti­ve and const­ruc­ti­ve way.

Than­king is an im­por­tant kind of feed­back that can ne­ver be gi­ven too of­ten. We have al­wa­ys re­a­son to be thank­ful.

My friend was frust­ra­ted when he did not re­cei­ve the feed­back he was ho­ping for: ”No mat­ter what you do, there is no feed­back. I gu­ess I will quit!”

I hope you are not plan­ning to quit right now! This would be an ex­cel­lent time to give and re­cei­ve feed­back, le­arn new things, and take anot­her step for­ward in life.


Herra on kuningas! Riemuitkoon maa, iloitkoot meren saaret ja rannat! Pilvi ja pimeys ympäröi häntä, hänen istuintaan kannattavat vanhurskaus ja oikeus. Ps. 97:1–2

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