Making the Most Of Your Individual Feedback
Congratulations! You've just received your first Pulse results. You should now have a collection of valuable feedback from your students, colleagues, or parents (or maybe even all three groups). You may also be wondering, what next? This article covers the steps of Learn, Act and Repeat process we recommend to help you make the best use of your feedback.
The first step is simply to learn. Review your feedback and use this time to identify key areas you are doing well in and key opportunities where you can develop. When reviewing your feedback:
- First just listen. Your first read through of your feedback should be just that. Then give yourself time to process your feedback before thinking about solutions. Taking time away from your feedback will help your top strengths and opportunities to become clear.
- Remain receptive and open. Especially when reading feedback on areas for improvement. Even well-written feedback can cause people to shut down. If you find yourself feeling a bit defensive (i.e. ‘I don’t do that!”), remind yourself that you can learn something from every piece of feedback and that it is most likely coming from someone with good intentions.
- Recognize that everyone has room to grow, but we can only do so if we're aware of those opportunities. When trying to make sense of feedback, focus less on whether you specifically did or did not do something but instead ask yourself 'what in my behavior could be leading to these perceptions?'
- Look for themes, rather than fixate on one thing. When reading through your feedback, resist the temptation to get caught up in one particular comment or selection. If you spend your time trying to figure out who wrote that comment about your moodiness, you are missing the point. Instead look for themes and patterns – both across groups and areas of feedback. Are some areas connected? For example, receiving positive feedback that you are willing to help while also receiving opportunity feedback to focus more on time management, could indicate that you need to prioritize what you help out with.
- Consider differences (and similarities) across groups. You may find that some of your feedback is different across groups. For example, teammates may say that you are highly ‘innovative’ because they are often involved in idea generation and experimentation with you. However, your manager may identify this as an area of opportunity because they rarely see the output of your ideas. You may also identify areas where you see yourself differently from your colleagues. This is a great opportunity to increase your self-awareness by learning something new about how others see you!
- Don't ignore it. Be aware of any tendency to disregard feedback or only focus on areas that you are interested in. You may be missing out on valuable insights. The same applies to positive feedback. Many of us have a tendency to just ‘brush it off’. If we are not acutely aware of how we are excelling then how will we know what to continue?
- Say thanks! Remember to thank everyone who provided you with feedback! Just a quick email or message will suffice. Expressing appreciation to the people who took the time to give you feedback is important to show that you value their input. You will also be more likely to get feedback in the future.
TIP: If you need help interpreting your feedback report, read our Guide To Understanding Your Individual Feedback Report
The great news is that by now part of the work is already done. Just by reviewing your feedback you have increased your self-awareness. Nice! However the biggest developmental benefits come from taking action based on what you’ve learned.
- Highlight - Review your report and highlight the areas that stand out. Use the flag to make these areas.
- Focus - Click on Take Action button. You will land on your Action plan with all the areas that you highlighted. Don't try to change everything at once! review your highlights and narrow it down to one or two that you'd like to focus on
- Ideate - Once you decided on the area(s) to focus on, click on Take Action button for that item. You'll get a list of inspirations on how you might address, choose the one that resonate. For example, if you received feedback that your students don't feel connected, one idea could be 10 x 2s--building relationships with hard-to-reach students by spending spending 2 mins a day, 10 days in a row, talking about anything except school work.
- Share - Accelerate your progress by sharing your focus area and plan for action with your team and/or co-workers. Use this time to ask for more detail around your focus areas and possibly the feedback they gave you. Involve your coach and/or manager as they are often best equipped to support you and offer further resources.
- Combine with any broader development and/or career goals. If you have a broader plan, include your focus area to ensure that you prioritize it alongside other commitments. Too often action plans end up in the bottom of a drawer, the main reason being because they are not considered in the context of everything else we do.
Feedback is not a one time thing. Repeat by signing up for another round of Effectiveness feedback or a quick progress check-in about 4-6 months later. See your People team for more information.
There's no need to wait for another survey - keep asking and giving feedback. While we love our surveys, they are only one part of the cycle. The process is intended to kick-start a feedback culture where people seek and give each-other unprompted feedback on a regular basis. Use it to start your own good habits around feedback. This is how we will all learn faster.