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Feedback is a GIFT

Feedback is a gift two teachers providing feedback

Feedback is a G.I.F.T.

She was our school's new Deputy Principal, and I was a relatively new Head of Department.

This woman would become, and still is, an influential, unofficial mentor of mine. After the first week of working together, I knew that if I was ever to become a Deputy Principal, then I would want to be like her.


As a high performing teacher and new leader with high expectations of myself, feedback always scared me. No matter how well intentioned, how positive, how useful the feedback was, I always took it as a negative criticism of me.


A poster, like the one below, hung on her wall. It hit home straight away from me. It reframed my thoughts about feedback.

feedback is a gift poster

Given with Permission

We are all very aware of consent, and feedback requires consent. The person receiving needs to want to hear it and the person giving needs to want to provide it. If you have asked for feedback, be ok with it not being what you want to hear. The provider of feedback is under no obligation to tip toe around you if you opened the door to feedback.

Intent is for Growth


If you are truly ready to be the best leader you can be, then seeking all types of feedback will help you become consciously aware of what you are not aware of, the positive and the negative.


You cannot develop if stay focused only on yourself. As a leader feedback takes all forms and without it, you do not know the best way to grow. Looking at the past can help ensure mistakes are not left unmined for lessons that could help future you. Use feedback to future focus your actions and plans.


For the Person, not about the person

It is not about the person. This is probably the most violated and broken part of feedback as a G.I.F.T. As soon as the work 'you' is involved, the feedback conversation could be derailed. A solid strategy is to use the structure, "What I saw/heard/read was __________ and this made me think/wonder/feel _____________". This can be useful in depersonalising the feedback. Asking questions to help the individual gain insight is also another sound strategy.


Targeted for Success

Success is very rarely a one and done event. Success is growth over time. If feedback has been Given with permission for the person with intent for growth, then the focus is on their future success. The feedback being given/provided is about helping their version of success is reached.


If you have an application you'd like feedback on, book in for my Selection Criteria Review Session