Offering Critical Feedback In A Constructive Way
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As a professional, mature, adult learner, you understand that communication breakdowns occur and that issues arise involving personality clashes or misunderstood expectations. Working toward a degree or diploma is hard work, especially if you're maintaining a full-time job and family commitments at the same time. The last thing you want to have to do is face a difficult person or challenging situation, but sometimes it's necessary.
Student-instructor scenarios could involve a situation whereby:
- The instructor wrongly accuses a student of plagiarism.
- The student feels poorly treated
- The student feels as if they're not being graded appropriately
- The instructor wrongly accuses a student of cheating
In addition, there are work-place situations that could bring about a great deal of conflict if not handled properly. The trick in any of these situations is to learn how to give and receive critical feedback.
- Research the facts before approaching the person/situation.
- Clearly articulate your expectations
- Be specific and respectful.
Of course, there are times when offering critical feedback should be handled with caution or not at all. Don't fire off an angry email and hit send. Don't give critical feedback unless the time is right for the other person. Finally, make sure you're aware of the facts before approaching the other person. While you can't take responsibility for the other person's reaction, you can take responsibility for your own.