Post assessment feedback can be constructive in nature, give specific details about results, and highlight areas for improvement. It can play a pivotal role in performance, and should therefore be positive in nature to avoid the learner becoming disinterested. Qualified assessors can use a variety of tools to help get the right results.
How to Remain Positive
Positive feedback can reinforce confidence in learners, enable them to be satisfied with their performance and give them energy to push forward with their work. Of course not all feedback can be positive. Sometimes it is the assessors role to find the right balance in order to get the best out of their learner:
Tone of voice - Keep upbeat and positive through the sound of your voice. This should be natural anyway and shows an interest in the learner and the environment
Body language - Eye contact, sitting position and the position of your arms can affect the person next to you. Maintain good body language at all times
Use the learners name - This personalises the feedback experience and can prevent a person from thinking they are just a number on a piece of paper
Choice of words - Consider what words you use before speaking. For example the word “however” can be more positive than “but”
In the below video the qualified assessor (Tom) is given workplace based feedback to one of his staff members (Luke).
Tom starts the meeting with a very positive tone and actually describes the assessment as “very good”. Although there may be some negative / developmental areas starting on a positive note can only put the learner at ease.
Helpful hint - Human psychology depicts that people will often listen more to negative comments if you start first with the positives
Tom Summarises the good aspects of Luke's workplace assessment. This is a good tool to use to help speak in a language that the learner can understand:
- Light fittings - all checked
- All tyres checked for damage
- Checked under the bonnet to look at oil and fluid levels
- Checked overall body condition of the vehicle
- Fuel tank checked for damage (including fuel cap)
You can see Luke’s full vehicle check in the below video:
Tom eventually gets to the stage where he wants to address areas of the observation where Luke did not quite do as well. He chooses to use the word “development” instead of “weakness” which maintains the positive approach to the meeting. Below are Luke's two main areas of development:
- Get out of the vehicle to check lights (alongside turning them on)
- Maybe turn all lights on at the very beginning of the vehicle check
Notice that Tom highlights them as minor points to avoid concerning Luke. Overall everything put together made for a very positive vibe and good feel to the meeting. Luke hopefully goes away upbeat with some small areas of improvement for his next observation.