Feedback Ladder- Balance, Order and Harmony

Giving and receiving feedback is something that we encourage our students to practice as they engage in peer assessment.

In fact, we give feedback to one another all the time informally. Therefore, learning how to feedback can enhance communication skill.

Giving or receiving feedback is an art. Good art will always have Balance, Order, and Harmony and I believe that learning how to give feedback too is about balance, order and harmony.

For balance, apply the 3:1 rule when giving feedback. Three positive statements about what you have seen or heard and one that may be inquiring for better clarity or a positive suggestion of what the other could have done or may like to consider.

For order, give a structure to the feedback. You can do this by following the Ladder of Feedback structure.

  • Clarify by asking relevant questions. This will help you understand better.
  • What do you Value about what you have heard, seen or read? Express what you like giving detailed examples.
  • Express your Concerns respectfully with statements like “I wonder if….”, “ It appears that…”.
  • In the end, make Suggestions for improvement. You could use the statements, “What if…..”, “Maybe you could”, or “How about…”

Harmony, by not threatening but leading to a pleasing effect of having gained from it for both individuals.

Feedback should be an enriching experience for both. Remember to be nice.

When giving feedback, try and see from the receiver’s perspective. Like Seth Godin says, ‘remember that they are not looking for your opinion but an analysis of their work’.

And that requires some thought.







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