Module 5

Applying Word Processing


Module 5

Exercise 2: Being a Critical Friend

Throughout the planning, doing, reviewing, and sharing process, you often solicit advice from others. Think of a time when a colleague asked your opinion about something he or she said or did. Did you like or approve of what was said or done? Giving constructive feedback is easy when you like or approve of what was said or done. However, being a critical friend can be difficult when you do not like or approve of what was said or done. Knowing how to give feedback without hurting another person's feelings is an important skill.

As a critical friend, the feedback that you give must be presented in way that is helpful and kind. Before giving feedback, think about the following questions:

  • Did I listen well?
  • Do I understand all the ideas and information?
  • Do I need to ask any questions before I give feedback?
  • What specific aspects do I like?
  • How might the ideas or product be improved? Should any elements be changed or added?
  • How can I make my comments sound positive?

While giving feedback, you should start by saying what you like about someone's work. You might begin your statements in the following manner:

  • I like how you…
  • You did a really great job with…
  • I was really impressed with…

After you say what you like about someone's work, you can nicely say what you do not like. The best way is to offer specific suggestions about how the ideas or product could be improved. You might consider starting your statements with phrases such as:

  • I am not sure I understand…
  • I see what you are trying to do, but you might want to…
  • I would have liked it better if you had…

Remember that your opinion is only one opinion, and others may have different opinions. Most importantly, be kind when giving feedback. Think about how you would feel if you were hearing your feedback about your ideas or product. Consider the following:

  • Could your tone of voice or choice of words make a difference?
  • Why should you say what you like about someone's work before saying what you think could be improved?
  • What other suggestions do you have for being a critical friend?

Next: Proceed to Exercise 3


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