Feedback or Advice? What wisdom do you need?

Have you noticed plenty of words float around telling you this is the most effective way to support staff, students, and others?

  • Please provide feedback to your students in a timely fashion so they can make corrections.
  • Please provide staff with advice on what instructional practices to utilize for better outcomes.
  • Give feedback, so they understand the mistakes they made.
  • Students need advice on what classes they need to stay on track for graduation.
  • Teachers need direct feedback on the areas needing improvement.
  • Advise your daughter on the groceries she should purchase to have a balanced nutrition plan for the family.

What do we need if we want to get better?

Let’s take a deeper dive into the differences in the two words we are looking at Feedback and Advice.

Workplace feedback is defined as a process of giving constructive suggestions. Feedback is generally provided by supervisors, reporting managers as well as peers aimed at improving performance. It can also be for reinforcing good behavior and improving employees’ morale and dedication to doing their jobs. Classroom feedback for students is defined as a pocess of giving constructive suggestions by teachers and sometimes peers to improve in areas of performance in learning. They also are reinforced with feedback on their behavior and focus on the tasks before them. Feedback to others can be positive or negative. When looking at feedback, one word comes to mind, evaluation. Feedback seems to be a judgment on the performance of an individual. It depends on how it is approached.

Advice is guidance. It is defined as an opinion about what could or should be done about a situation or problem. It is more critical and directed to action steps. The focus in advice is to specially direct actions and changes to bring improvement. This is the same in the workplace, classroom, and home.

When I reflect on the separation of the words and their meanings, I feel like I have used them both simultaneously. Have you? I believe when working with educational staff, I have utilized feedback and advice for professional learning. I used feedback to help with the understanding of our progress and to reinforce our practices. Example: We had a new program we were implementing that required further training and procedures called “Target Teach.” I needed to provide feedback on understanding the process of where we were, how we were progressing, and to reinforce the need for the integrity of the practices to keep us on track. As we continued to grow and improve, these practices became part of our classroom strategies. Students and Staff were both engaging in feedback and advice. Peers provided advice to each other in their learning and growth. Teachers visited other classrooms to advise on action steps to take and feedback on the lessons.

Wisdom

It is the wisdom we gain from the experience of understanding the importance of the usage of these words in our daily interactions. Wisdom is the ability to use your knowledge and expertise to make good decisions and judgments. We can help others gain wisdom daily by providing them with these experiences, understanding the purposes of these conversations, having these conversations, and most importantly, listening.

I certainly hope to gain a little wisdom as I grow older! Each experience provides more knowledge and a deeper understanding. At times I believe individuals are not in the season of their journey to open themselves up to feedback, advice, or gaining wisdom. There are times when some think, “I’ve got this, I know, I do not need help,” until…..they don’t have it, don’t know, and need help!

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