The Importance of Feedback

As therapists, we are constantly providing our clients with feedback, whether it is cuing a student for form when engaged in exercise, or helping a teacher incorporate a visual cue for a student’s targeted sound. An article published on the New York Times website, titled “You’ve Been Doing a Fantastic Job. Just One Thing …”, discusses recent research regarding how to be more effective with feedback. Most people use a “sandwich” method, where the critique is presented following a positive remark, and is followed by another positive comment. However, the researchers found that the recipient of the critique would not necessarily perceive that improvements were needed. What was found to be more effective was providing specific, unemotional, feedback. The article also talked about a technique utilized by Pixar employees called “plussing,” when suggestions were added to a positive remark, using non-judgmental language, such as “and” and “what if”, instead of “but.” It can be difficult to provide, or receive feedback, but by keeping our guidance specific and praise appropriate, we can continue moving towards the goal of improving ourselves and our students.

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One thought on “The Importance of Feedback”

  1. Great insight! This is so useful for any area of life. I’ve never heard a compelling alternative to the “sandwich” method. Will be giving this a whirl . . .

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