People, Participation, Progression, Performance in Hockey

Feedback, more detail

In my previous feedback articles I spoke about giving and receiving feedback, both were “action articles”, however this article is more about some of the thinking

    The thinking behind feedback

    Request – Why request feedback

    1. Unsolicited feedback often backfires it has the insidious danger of failing to benefit the recipient.
    2. Of more concern it can easily put the recipient into defensive mode.
    3. As a coach create a time and space when people can ask – as a player be proactive to reduce the possibility of failure
    4. When you request feedback, you can also ask for the type of help you need and on your own terms.
    Peer-to-peer feedback is often more effective because people feel less defensive talking to their colleagues than their manager. Most importantly, the people with whom you spend the most time – your team members – know you better.

    Receive: Active Listening

    Feedback can be incredibly difficult to swallow and most givers tend to shy away from it.
    Feedback triggers multiple reactions based on our personal life, our relationship with the coach and, of course, the truth. No one likes to be reminded of their flaws or mistakes.

    Some rules:

    1. Actively listen when receiving feedback.
    2. Hear what the other person has to say without interrupting.
    3. Let them do the talking.
    4. Say thank you – they have spent time on you.

    Some thoughts:

    1. Feedback is not necessarily reality but it is an opinion.
    2. Effective feedback can help you turn your blind spots into bright spots.
    3. Conversely, biased feedback can trigger false alarms and then the feedback is wasted
    You as the recipient must be responsible for asking and managing yourself and making the giver feel comfortable, otherwise the opportunity may not come around again.

    Blaming, Complaining, Defensiveness

    I digress into something called BCD – Blaming, Complaining, Defensiveness

    This is regularly used to justify the feedback that is delivered, Adults regularly indulge in this – WHY!

    DO NOT DO THEM instead take responsibility and deal with what you need to resolve.


    3. Reflect: Gaining Insights

    Feedback is a dish that should be instant but the response should be allowed to brew.

    Take time to reflect before reacting:

    1. Is it right and fair
    2. Was that my behaviour?
    3. Did I not do that?

    Take some time to let it simmer so you respond constructively.

    Don’t immediately discard it especially if you think it is waaaaay off

    1. Are you missing something?
    2. What is the feedback triggering?
    3. Why does it hurt?
    Feedback is a bonus it is your choice to use it.
    During this phase try and acknowledge the feedback and perhaps by repeating back what they said or something in what they said.

    4. Respond: Constructively Reply

    By responding and reacting (appropriately!) you are demonstrating gratitude and genuine respect by sharing what you are going to do BUT more importantly – you are showing you are worth the effort.
    Get back to the coach later in session or at the next session depending on the complexity of the feedback.

    When you “Respond” make sure you are thoughtful and constructive.

    1. Thank them for their candour,
    2. Recognize they have given you an opportunity to grow
    3. Invite them to continue to give you feedback.
    Delivering a tough message is just as hard as receiving it.

    5. Resolve: Commit to Grow

    “Resolve” requires you to address the issues, concerns, or suggestions. It involves actively resolving conflicts, addressing identified weaknesses, or implementing change.
    Utilising feedback demonstrates a commitment to growth, improvement, and problem-solving.

    Feedback is a gift. Always be open and thankful, but you decide how and when to use it.

    The Context

    In a sporting environment we receive feedback from 3 sources generally.

    1. Self
      Where the player self manages – they “reflect” on their own performance – the most powerful – although perhaps not the most accurate
    2. Peer to peer
      Inter player feedback – the second most powerful however it comes with challenges if the environment is not right.
    3. Coach
      Generally, the most accurate – to be requested

    This means everyone needs to give and take so this is a 3 article series below are all the links

    1. Quick actions – recipient
    2. Giver actions – coach 
    3. Why – More info as to how and why

    Request icons created by Freepik – Flaticon

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