PAFs Discuss Giving and Receiving Feedback

October 31, 2016
During our weekly meeting on Tuesday, September 27th, I had the pleasure of leading the first PAF-developed professional development workshop of the academic year. The competency that my fellow PAFs and I focused on was giving and receiving feedback.
We used the “Learn Now” guide from Organizational Development and Effectiveness within GW’s Division of Human Resources, in addition to advice from and other resources. The guide included instructions to prepare individuals to give feedback (and determine when it is worthwhile to give feedback to a supervisor - hint: not all the time) and to most effectively receive feedback.
After briefly discussing some crucial tips for giving feedback, we worked together to critique Larry David’s mode of giving feedback (as seen in this scene where he tells a fellow airline passenger that he is dressed inappropriately). Later, in small groups, we “role-played” situations in which we hypothetically would need to give or receive feedback related to tensions arising in PAF committee work.
Some of the core tips dealing with giving feedback that PAFs discussed were the importance of:
1. Making negative feedback specific and non-judgemental, 
2. Making positive feedback specific and clear, 
3. Avoiding generalizations, 
4. Owning your own feedback, and 
5. Being flexible when considering your counterpart’s preferences for receiving feedback. 

Alec Nadeau

PAF Class of 2017
BA '15
MPA '17