Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 70

with , with .

Feedback and advice are incredibly different.  Yet both are important to leadership today.

I had the opportunity to attend a great professional learning session with Giselle Martin-Kniep (@gisellemk1) and Jennifer Borgioli (@datadiva), both of LCI, last week, with the focus being on formative assessment.

One of the intriguing aspects of this session (and there were many) was taking a deeper look at the differences between feedback and advice.  As we talked and looked at sample statements to decide how to categorize each, I began to think about the best situations for their use.

I'm a firm believer in every methodology having a place in education.  I don't think there is a panacea in our realm of learning and leading, and I think too much reliance on any one instructional strategy or pedagogical ideal is detrimental to to the teaching process.  Since every learner is different, we have to employ as many different tools as possible to make learning meaningful.  Therefore, over-reliance is dangerous, and even some strategies that are often "pooh-poohed," like lecture, have their proper place in the learning scheme.

Advice, often a statement that details what should be changed, and many times, how, is useful when involved in a management situation.  We need a change to happen, so we make a more directive note of how to do it.  Those we share the advice with have the option to use that advice or not, but it is clear the advice is meant to elicit a specific change, despite the fact that the learner is, for the most part, taken out of the collaborative equation.

Feedback, on the other hand, has the potential for truly collaborative action.  This information is borne by evidence-based details that may or may not convey next steps.  The goal with well-designed feedback is to lead the learner to water, but let him/her figure out the steps necessary to drink.  Often a well-placed question, a connection to another situation, or time to reflect, turns feedback into leadership development.

Therefore, depending on whether we need to manage a situation or build leadership capacity, both advice and feedback have a place in all leadership circles.  The key is to remember when to use one or the other, because no matter what you do, you can't cultivate a leader (or become a better one) if you're simply giving (or getting) advice.

No comments:

Post a Comment