L G B T   C a m p u s   O r g a n i z i n g
time.  If my friend confronts me about
ers are reacting.  It provides information
this I may feel uncomfortable, guilty, or
that can be useful in fostering behavioral
badly,  But I will also feel like I matter to
them, and that they notice if I m there or
not.  If my friend doesn t confront me I
Some Guidelines for Giving Useful Feed 
may feel like I hardly matter to them, it
doesn t matter if I m there on time or not.
Many of us have a difficult time giving
1. It is descriptive rather than evaluative.
feedback to others, whether the feedback
By describing one s own reaction, it
is "positive" or "negative."  One of the
leaves the individual free to use  the
things that stops us from "calling" some 
information as he/she sees fit. By avoid 
one else on their broken agreements is
ing evaluative language, it reduces the
that we do not want them to challenge us
need for the person hearing the feedback
about ours.  We play this silent game of
to react defensively;
collusion with each other and what suf 
fers is our mutual trust and the function 
ing of the group as a whole.  Both giving
and receiving feedback can be gifts given
in friendships and/or group interactions.
They demonstrate our commitment to
these relationships.  They are skills that
are important to the healthy functioning
of interpersonal relationships. as well as
groups.  The following suggestions or
2. It focuses on the feelings generated in
guidelines for giving and receiving feed 
the person who received the behavior and
back can help make this process less
who is giving the feedback;
awkward.  It is also can be helpful to set
aside a specific time to check in, to do
3. It is specific rather than general. To be
self evaluations, and to give and receive
told that one is "dominating" will proba 
feedback.  This can be something that
bly not be as useful as being told that
you do regularly at meetings or some 
"just now when we were deciding on the
thing that you do at special times.  Don t
issue I felt that others were not heard so I
let too much time pass without checking
felt forced to accept your arguments or
in.  This will alleviate the opportunity for
face an attack from you;"
resentment to build up and conflicts to
4. It takes into account the needs of both
the giver and the receiver of feedback.
Guidelines for Giving and Receiving
Feedback can be destructive when it
serves only our own needs and fails to
Feedback is a communication to a person
consider the needs of the person on the
(or a group of people) which gives that
receiving end;
person (or that group of people) informa 
tion about how he/she affects (or they
5. It is directed toward specific behavior
affect) others.  Feedback gives someone a
(not personality traits) that the person can
sense of how he/she is coming across,
do something about. Frustration is only
what image he/she projects, and how oth 
increased when a person is reminded of
7 6
B u i l d i n g   a   H e a l t h y   O r g a n i z a t i o n


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