What private DMs with a friend taught me about giving good feedback

Her message, in part, is moving me to look more deeply at digital accessibility. Digital content creators (like myself) have a lot to learn on this topic, and I suspect that online learning design can be a source of useful new insights.

But this essay isn’t about that.

It’s about how friends can give meaningful feedback. I’ve written about giving good feedback, mostly in the context of the classroom, a Slack room, or some professional setting. What if we thought of it as a strategy for growing our personal relationships?

1. Recognize, Encourage, Validate.

“I’ve been seeing your blogging and enjoying your pieces a lot.”

My friend shares a short acknowledgment and encouragement. It says she’s interested in what I’m saying, she’s tuned in, and she’s been following along.

2. Prompt deeper thinking by raising questions/concerns.

“I’m not sure if you have been using alt text or not…”

Clarifying questions or thoughts that challenge one’s thinking. Here, my friend gently nudges me to consider if my digital content has alt text. (It doesn’t.)

3. Add perspective.

“I’m trying to be more conscious about that,” she wrote.

She relayed a recent professional experience that affected how she is using and approaching alt text. It prompted me to reflect on how this experience could be similar (or different) for me.

4. Share Expertise.

One thing you mentioned about handwritten notes being superior to typed ones… I’ve said the same thing before. But it would seem to be more nuanced than that.”

In reference to a specific essay, “Powerful notetaking skills for content creators,” my friend also shares some of her immense knowledge about this topic. She then shares a really helpful article and suggested readings.

This post was created with Typeshare

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Geoff Decker

Geoff Decker

Curious storyteller, writer and reporter currently exploring journalism through teaching and learning.