Principles of Healthy Feedback
Image by Ben White
Feedback is the foundation for true Christian fellowship. It is the art of sharing the truth in love.
James 1:19 – 35
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
Ephesians 4:14 – 16
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Working Definition: Helping another see the truth, good or bad.
- Focus on 1-3 topics
- Use reflective listening
- Sandwich Method
- Encourage Discovery (Coaching Methodology)
- Trust in God’s guidance
- Pray before, during and after
- Use Scripture
- Use personal lessons learned
- It’s their life, their mind, their choice
- God will speak through me
- I won’t be perfect
- Age is not a factor
When giving feedback, questions should be used for clarification
When asking questions, focus on foundational issues and move up.
- Spiritual Discipline
- Spiritual Fruits
- Addictive Sin
When giving feedback, it is first and foremost practiced in the art of listening.
There are at least three things that should be noted:
- What I heard said
- What I know about the person
- What I didn’t hear said
All feedback (sharing the truth) is a gift. I can do nothing outside of my surrender to God. Praying is my submission to the fact that it is not my effort, but God’s blessing that allows for right input.
- Focus on listening
- Take Notes
- Make eye contact
- Pray before, during and after
- Put emotions on timeout
- Follow Up
- Appreciate those giving
- I will not understand or like everything
- It can be done
- God will not quit on me, so ultimate failure is my quitting
- I am asking for others to bring out the difficult
- I can only give feedback at the level of discipline I myself live. God will not bless those who do not submit.
- There are two parts to feedback, giving and receiving. I can only control one side: mine.
- Feedback is a privilege
- Feedback is a skill
- Feedback is different for everyone (talents, abilities, etc)
- Feedback only works if the foundations are the same