3.1.1 Why Can Feedback be Useful?

In Unit 2 you gathered evidence about your qualities, knowledge, and skills. Hopefully, you now have a clearer idea about your learning. However, it is important to recognize that all these activities have asked you to reflect on yourself rather than gaining information from other people. The advantage of gathering evidence from other people is that they will have a different view of you from the one you have of yourself. Drawing on this perspective can help enrich how you think about yourself.

There are many different theories that suggest there are aspects of ourselves of which we are only dimly aware. You may have heard of Sigmund Freud’s idea that our minds are made up of both conscious and unconscious elements. Freud argued that the working of the unconscious part of the mind is almost impossible to access. However, these hidden aspects might contain useful information valuable for personal development. The idea of using feedback builds on the notion that other people, because they have a different perspective, can help us with information that would be difficult to gather if we worked alone. This idea has been extended and is the basis of what is called 360-degree feedback. This can be used at work to give someone as wide a picture as possible about how well he or she is doing. It involves having feedback from everyone whose views are seen as helpful and relevant.

Activity 3.1: Identifying Feedback

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes for this activity.

Watch the animated film below. It features two characters who will appear at various points in this unit—Tina and Sophie. As you watch the film, think about:

  • What feedback Tina has received, and from whom.
  • What feedback you might give Tina to help in her job-hunting.
Download this video clip.Video player: joharifb_b.mp4
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Transcript

Location: Tina and Sophie, sitting in the coffee shop.

Tina:
Hey, Sophie, it’s great to catch up with you.
Sophie:
It’s good to see you too Tina. How are you?
Tina:
I’m really good! And I’ve got some great news.
Sophie:
What news is that Tina? You certainly look happy.
Tina:
You know that job interview I had last Saturday?
Sophie:
Yes, Alberto told me about it.
Tina:
Well, I was really nervous but … wait for it … I got the job!
Sophie:
Wow! That’s brilliant news Tina. Was the interview difficult?
Tina:
It was actually quite enjoyable Sophie. I had prepared a presentation and that seemed to go well.
Sophie:
Yes.
Tina:
But then they said “Now we are going to do a role play where we see how you handle conflict.”
Sophie:
Yes. Yes. Were you expecting that?
Tina:
That’s the thing. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I had forgotten to look at all of the interview instructions so I hadn’t prepared anything.
Sophie:
Oh dear.
Tina:
But that didn’t matter in the end.
Sophie:
No?
Tina:
No! I did this role play where one of the interview panel played a difficult customer complaining about the service he had got in a restaurant and I played the restaurant manager.
Sophie:
Yes. What happened?
Tina:
I seemed to know just how to handle it. They said I was a natural at handling difficult situations. I’ve never ever thought about whether I’d be any good at dealing with conflict.
Sophie:
We know who to call on if there is ever any trouble at college. But seriously, I’m not actually surprised that you handled the situation so well. You’re always so very calm. Even when the rest of us are really stressed you’re cool, calm and collected.
Tina:
Sometimes I don’t feel that way so it’s good to know that’s how I look.
End transcript
 
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Comment

How did you feel about working from an animation? Hopefully you found you could focus on the characters and the interaction between them. You’ll meet Tina and Sophie again later in the unit.

In this film we see and hear about Tina receiving two types of feedback. First, we hear Tina telling Sophie about the feedback she got from the interview panel. They told her that she was “a natural” at handling conflict. Then, later in the film Sophie gives Tina some feedback when she tells her that she finds Tina is “always so very calm, even when the rest of us are stressed.”

Did you think of any feedback you might give Tina to help in her job-hunting? Maybe you thought Tina should be told about the importance of reading interview preparation instructions. Whatever your views about areas in which Tina might benefit from feedback you have now made a start on thinking about how feedback might be useful.

3.1 Getting Feedback from Other People

3.1.2 What Problems Might You Have with Getting Feedback?