It’s all too easy to overlook great feedback isn’t it?
I grew up in a family business so as a child, we spent many a meal time or car journey, brainstorming about how to improve service, how to streamline systems and how else we could make our business known. Many heads are better than one and although there were times as a child when I used to groan at this, after all, teenagers do a lot of sighing and eye rolling, don’t they? It paved the way for a soul searching need to get hold of really constructive and useful, honest feedback.
(no audio this week because I have a cold and sound weird)
What you hear time and time again, is “just ask” but asking for feedback, tends to come across as a leading question, doesn’t it?
In the training industry, where the feedback form is the go between the trainer and trainee, the feedback tends to be fairly surface level to my mind due to those ‘happy sheets’, that seem like little more than a token gesture than anything else. Almost like, “We’re giving you one of these, because we want to make the impression that we care” but having been in the corporate training arena for over 10 years many suggestions, often mirrored by those that trainers make, were completely ignored and so handing them out does seem to insult my language learners intelligence, whilst wasting their time and ink.
Ironically trainers are generally very interested to find out what exactly we can do better to get our learning message across more effectively and so this week I was genuinely blessed to receive some really valuable feedback from a one to one client. You see it is easy as a trainer to gloss over the positives, despite the stroked ego, to zone in on the really useful stuff; the constructive critisism that you can get your teeth into, so that you can improve the learning experience.
Obviously you cannot please all of the people all of the time, but when you get feedback where you sit back and think, “Brilliant, why didn’t I think about that, this makes a lot of sense!” then that is where the magic starts and you can weave constructive feedback into your teaching style. If that person happens to be someone that given the opportunity you would work every day with, then that feedback is golden!
For months now I have been agonising over a time consuming element of my training programme. Due to this week’s feedback I have just realised that actually it is not really appreciated all that much anyway and in actual fact there is a much easier and less time consuming way to provide language feedback. It was like, “Kaboom, that’s it!” I kicked myself because it was so mindblowingly obvious and right there in front of my eyes and yet I just couldn’t see it for the trees.
“Can’t see the wood for the trees!”
If you are unable to prioritise or understand the real meaning because you are paying too much attention to the details or are too close to it / too involved.
So the bottom line is, ask for feedback in person! Ask for testimonials too, this is my big mistake as a trainer, as I have always mentally written off positive feedback as a ‘job done’ This is rediculous on reflection because when I am on the look out for someone to help me with my business, I like to find out what other people think of someone as a person, so I check out the testimonials.
So those are my words of wisdom on feedback…If your kids are off school this week, then indulge them with your attention and luuurve first before disappearing into your business den and remember, use your flexibility to their advantage too.
If you enjoy reading these posts, be brave and comment below or join me on the facebook page because it’s once you activate your English with writing and speaking that the real magic happens in terms of language learning, after all, it’s not about the mistakes you make, it is about the constructive steps you are taking to activate your English that counts!