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.
Reilut kymmenen vuotta sitten julkisiin rakennuksiin alkoi ilmestyä kansioita, joissa luki ”pelastussuunnitelma”. Monien kirkkojen sakasteissa tämä antoi aiheen huumorille ja erilaisille toteamuksille: ”Viimeinkin pelastussuunnitelma on tiiviissä paketissa niin pappien kuin seurakuntalaisten saatavilla”. Joku puolestaan pohti: ”Eikö Raamattu enää riitäkään pelastussuunnitelmaksi, kun apua pitää kysyä viranomaisilta?” Rakennusten turvallisuuteen liittyvä ohjeistus muistutti siitä, että kirkko on Jumalan pelastussuunnitelman eli sielujen pelastamisen asialla.
Välähdyksiä rovasti Pentti Kopperoisen elämän varrelta sekä ajankuvaa suomalaisten elämästä 1930-luvulta nykypäiviin.
Juliaana Kellokoski ja Maarit Hosionaho, urut
Esilaulu: Lauluryhmä, johtaa Arto Turpela
Mihin syntien anteeksiantamus perustuu Raamatun mukaan? Kirjoittaja käy läpi Uuden testamentin anteeksiantamusta käsittelevät kohdat, joiden kautta avautuu monipuolinen ja selkeä kuva aiheesta.