Feedback is an inter-personal communication skill that is essential for the facilitator’s work. Feedback helps the promoter to convey messages, to reflect conduct, to strengthen the participant and to guide them towards more effective strategies of action. Feedback accompanies communication between promoter and participant throughout the mentoring process, and its rules must be followed during every interaction between them.
- Improved performance
- Enlarging the revealed area – reinforcing participant’s awareness
- Assisting the change process
- Creating openness and trust
Joe Luft and Harry Ingraham developed a model that splits self awareness into four parts, resulting from a matrix that links the individual’s level of knowledge about himself and other people’s level of knowledge about that individual. The four areas in the so-called “Joe-Harry Model” are:
- The revealed area: in this area the individual is aware of their feelings, characteristics and needs as expressed in their conduct. There is full overlap between how the individual perceives himself and how others perceive them. It is comfortable for us in this area, where we live without anxiety or worries about our situation.
- The hidden area: in this area the individual is aware of feelings, characteristics and needs that they choose to hide from others, whether from fear of criticism or fear of undermining their image. Here they flee from reality, disguise themselves, and put effort into maintaining their secret.
- The area of blindness: this area refers to behaviors that are revealed to the surroundings but the individual is not aware of them or perceives them in a distorted way. Often the environment allows the individual to continue living in this “paradise of fools” to avoid insulting or hurting them. Even if somebody says something to them, the individual often refuses to look at himself through their eyes.
- Area of unawareness: this is the area that is beyond the perception of both the individual and those around them – feelings, qualities and needs that are completely hidden.
Area of blindness
Area of unawareness
The road to change and personal growth passes through the revealed area, where the individual can be aware of their choices, behaviors and feelings, and the impact of their conduct on others and on himself. Expanding the revealed area is also possible in the following two ways:
Receiving feedback, which helps to reduce the area of blindness and broaden the revealed area, by legitimizing openness and creating a norm of sensitive, effective, uncritical feedback from colleagues, managers etc.
Openness to others: helps to reduce the hidden area and increase the revealed area by willingness to expose feelings and thoughts which were only known to me. This can help others to understand the individual’s behaviors and choices, increasing trust and improving communication.
There are two basic conditions required for feedback:
Willingness to accept the feedback.
Relationship of frankness and trust between giver and recipient – the recipient must believe that the feedback is intended to help them.