Two-Way Feedback

In addition to formalized assessment measures, supervisors are encouraged to regularly engage students in two-way conversations and feedback. This term describe a feedback process that allows both the feedback giver and recipient to experience both roles in a reciprocal fashion. Essentially, both people fully experience the feedback process by being on the giving and receiving end of constructive criticism.

The content of such a conversation is determined by the questions that are asked and answered, in turn, by all participants in the dialogue. For example: “What are we each doing that is working and needs to continue?” “What needs to be changed or adapted?” There are several inherent challenges to this process, including: building reflection time into a work schedule, fear of receiving unhelpful or painful criticism, and overcoming the traditional idea that a supervisor knows more than their worker and thus does not need to receive constructive criticism. However, the benefits of this kind of feedback, more often than not, far outweigh the risks.

Feedback is a core component of any learning environment. This type of interaction allows a student to learn from an experience by processing it, receiving positive reinforcement, and being challenged to try new and different ways of doing things. Supervisors, through two-way communication, also open themselves up to becoming learners through careful listening, receptivity of constructive criticism, and a genuine willingness to adjust supervisory style or method. The supervisor, in essence, switches roles with the student to become the recipient and not just the feedback agent. Two-way feedback is most effective when performed orally in a one-on-one setting, but in the interest of time, supervisors may use written tools or engage in feedback in small groups.

The following questions may serve as a useful guide to giving and receiving feedback in this way:

  • During my labor position I have observed my supervisor / worker learn and grow in the following ways:
  • How does my leadership style compliment that of my supervisor / worker?
  • What might I do differently to contribute more to my success and to the success of my work environment?
  • Do we use our meeting times productively? What about our meetings needs to change / stay the same?
  • What would I like my supervisor / worker to keep doing?
  • What would I like to see my supervisor / worker do differently?
  • How would I like my supervisor / worker to communicate with me (support, conflict, concerns, and ideas)?
  • How successful have we been in fulfilling expectations? What needs work?
  • How can we continue all the positive things that are happening?
  • How can I better support my supervisor / worker?