Giving feedback was something that I honed in a Group Facilitation course I took in my Master’s degree. My reputation was for giving killer feedback… almost literary. I would leave people distraught the rest of the day because I would be the one to state something that they did, that no one thought of or commented, that was a negative pattern. I wouldn’t follow the pack. A trimester later, I took a Patient Education course that was mainly read, answer questions, and send the work through email. The professor hadn’t met me before, and on the first class meeting, she was handing out the work we had done prior to that day before the session started. When she handed my work to me, she gave the feedback that I always steered away from the pack… from my kick ass content to my choice of computer font and size. A classmate that took the Facilitation course told the professor that she could testify that this was my style. During the class, the professor cited my work because it stood out to her, and it gave killer feedback to all the reading materials she assigned.
Fast forward two Sundays ago, my mother on probation told me that I couldn’t work with youth because I wasn’t a parent. My reaction: get angry and give my father on probation (her husband) my feedback to that statement and that moment.
This was a risk, because I was giving kick ass feedback about his wife. His response was done via a phone call. He supposedly printed my feedback, as I sent it to him through email, and made notes. He stated where he agreed and disagreed. I was laughing the whole time because I didn’t think that he would react in this manner… and because I found it funny.
At the end of the phone call, he asked/challenged me to write my feedback of the ministers, including him. So I did, and send it to him through email. Among the things that I wrote in his feedback, I wrote that he (and his wife) might be part of the problem of the apartheid youth group by keeping a demographic of the youth group that have been reached as a part of their ministry in a Project in PR isolated from the rest of the youth group to “protect them from demographic abuse”. This was the phrase that made him react, and it changed his perspective on the whole youth group situation.
He took the feedback as good and thanked me for it. Receiving this reaction feels weird, because most people try to invalidate it or say that I don’t know enough to be right. It’s refreshing to see appreciation for my work and that my word has value. It’s also good to know that I can have a positive effect with my killer feedback.