Judgment, Evaluation, Feedback, etc. LO9891

Dale Emery (72704.1550@CompuServe.COM)
11 Sep 96 01:05:34 EDT

Replying to LO9868 --


First, I appreciate you starting a conversation about this interesting and
important topic.

You wrote, "What is the difference between 'evaluation' and 'feedback?'"

I want to start my answer by recommending a wonderful book about feedback.
It's "What Did You Say? The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback," by
Charles N. Seashore, Edith W. Seashore, and Gerald M. Weinberg. (North
Attleborough, MA: Douglas Charles Press, 1991, ISBN 0-024771-33-X.) As far
as I know, the only place you can get this book now is from the authors.
I believe the number for the Seashores' office is 202-965-5509.

At a recent workshop the Seashores led about organizational change,
Charlie talked some about feedback. Here are some of my notes.

"Feedback is totally in control of the receiver."

"Feedback is really not a change tool. It is information, not influence,
because the receiver is totally in control of how they will be

"Don't use feedback as an attempt to influence someone _in_a_certain_way_.

Now for a definition from the book: Feedback is "information about past
behavior, delivered in the present, which may influence future behavior."
Given the things Charlie said at the workshop, I believe the word "may" is
a key one here. If your goal is to change someone in a particular way, it
isn't feedback, it's an attempt to influence.

The test I use for myself is this: If it isn't okay with me for the
receiver to do whatever they want with the information I'm offering, it
isn't feedback. Most of the time, evaluation doesn't pass that test.



Dale H. Emery | 27 Tall Pine Road Consultant | Berwick, ME 03901 Relationship and Communication | (207) 698-1650 For Successful Organizations | 72704.1550@compuserve.com

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>