making feedback dialogic
We would like to identify a few basic rules that are relevant for constructive dialogue that emphasises learning and constructive feedback processes:
- Take the time necessary for the discussion and establishing contact (rapport)
- Speak in the first-person voice (“I” statements)
Express your perspectives and truths in such a way that they are recognisably your own thoughts.
Here are some examples: I’ve noticed that… My impression is…, I find that…, instead of using the second-person voice (you did or said this or that) or speaking in generalities (people don’t do that, that’s not how one behaves…)
- Talk about specific situations
Naming examples and specific situations helps your discussion partner to classify and understand what you have said.
- Talk about behaviour, not in attributions.
- Speak about a person’s patterns of behaviour and action that you have observed. These can be changed. Attributions often begin with assumptions about another person’s identity. You are such and such a person…Such attributions lead more to manifestations of personal attitudes than to a change in behaviour.
- Express your feelings.
Share how the situation has impacted you emotionally; e.g., I found it strange when…, I thought it was regrettable when…, this made me feel uncertain…
- Offer alternatives and requests
Give your requests a direction and express them: I think that behaving in this way would be more appropriate; Had you reacted in this way, then…
- Take time to listen to your discussion partner’s observations. Let your discussion partner explain their position. Make sure that the discussion doesn’t get bogged down in justifications. Maintain a constructive attitude.
- It may sound mundane, but practice has shown that communication rules can support dialogue processes here and there.