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Giving Good Feedback Exercise

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					                   Giving Good Feedback Exercise
   Why try to raise the quality and quantity of feedback?
   In Second Stage Groups, it is a central goal of group leaders to teach the group members
   to give each other good feedback In the optimal situation, as many group members as
   possible become “group facilitators.” The co-facilitators should always be trying to raise
   the quantity and quality of both the individual and group feedback because it makes the
   groups more interesting for the members, it is a proven learning tool, and ultimately it
   can make the group process less stressful for the co-facilitators.

   Unfortunately, this can be a slow and sometimes difficult process. There are abusers who
   lack group skills, do not feel comfortable talking in groups, and are unmotivated or
   simply hostile. While as co-facilitators we cannot realistically expect to have the exact
   same results with each group member, we must expect that all group members will
   routinely offer good feedback. Otherwise, the other more active group members will feel
   it is unfair and quieter group members will fade into the background.

   After an extended period of group feedback the facilitators should evaluate the quality of
   the feedback. The facilitators should look for aspects or instances of feedback that they
   can praise and gradually raise the standards for praise as time goes by. We strongly
   believe that praise can be a highly effective and sometimes underrated part of the group
   process.

   The group leaders should solicit feedback from group members in a wide variety of
   situations in the group. Emerge recommends that they periodically do an extended
   tutorial on giving good feedback and also do quick reviews or “mini-lessons” just prior to
   a specific extended “turn” or activity, such as relationship histories or goals.

   “Giving good feedback” as an extended activity
   The group leaders should explain to the group the reasons for focusing on giving good
   feedback. The following are suggestions for what can be said.

1) “Group members are all in the same boat. You all know what it is like to be in a
   relationship and to be abusive. You can help the other people by offering constructive
   criticism and advice that helps them think differently about their partners and their
   relationship. This gives them alternatives to do things in a different, non-abusive way.
   This kind of feedback helps to hold everyone to a higher standard.”

2) “When group members practice giving good feedback, the experience helps teach you
   as well as the other group members to think more constructively about your own



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relationships. That’s because when you give good feedback you have to use all the
concepts of the program.”

Following this introduction, we suggest that you use a brainstorm activity to help the
group identify the differences between good and bad feedback. Start with examples of
bad feedback. This will help lay the groundwork for understanding good feedback. The
list should minimally include the following:

Bad Feedback:
               Negative bonding: “My wife nags me just like yours does.”
               Cheap Sympathy: “I think you did a really good job” You’re doing fine,
               keep it up
               Quick fixes: “Just say you’re sorry, take her out to dinner”
               Making excuses for other men’s abuse: “Jim probably wouldn’t have
               yelled at her if he didn’t have a few beers in him”
               Blaming the victim: “I think some victims ask for it”
               Unhelpful tangents
               Superficial or vague comments
               Being disrespectful or overly critical “That was stupid, Jim; I can’t believe
               you did that”
               Being condescending “That’s not what I would have done but its probably
               the best Jim could do”
               Being bored “I can’t believe we’re still talking about this”.


The group leaders could choose to list the criteria for good feedback and then discuss the
list. Alternatively, the facilitators could again do a group brainstorm around the following
two questions. “What does good feedback focus on? What does good feedback look
like?”

Good Feedback:

       Looks at negative self-talk, and asks for more specifics about what it is.
       Ask if the person is respectful of the partner’s wishes
       Asks the abuser to put the partner’s feelings ahead of their own
       Comments on “building a case” against the partner
       Focuses on the abuser’s behavior, not the partner’s; pays attention to her feelings,
       not the abuser’s
       Looks at whether or not the abuser is setting up the story to gain sympathy and
       look like a victim
       Looks at whether or not the abuser is being respectful of the partner’s wishes
       Slows down the story so that the group can understand what happened step by
       step. What did the group member say and do, what did she say and do?
       Examines the choice points in the story. At what point in the action did he start to
       make bad thinking and behavior choices?



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     Asks, “What’s her point of view?” If she were in the group room, how would she
     report what happened and what she was feeling at various points in the story?
     Looks for important contextual information he isn’t telling the group. For
     example, if it’s an incident where she is “picking”, “nagging”, or “just going on
     and on” about something, is there a long history of the abuser’s failure to listen or
     respond fairly?
     Looks at the likely short-term and long-term impact of the behavior on the partner
     and children?
     Examines how this incident or situation reflects the broader pattern of his abusive
     or controlling behavior in his relationship
     Looks at whether or not the behavior the group member is reporting is in keeping
     with his established goals in the program? (refer to specific goals)
     Asks, “What could the group member do differently to avoid being abusive?
     What specific positive self-talk should the client make better use of in the
     situation?”


Other tips to solicit and respond to feedback
     Encourage clients who are giving the feedback to use examples from their own
     history of abuse. “I faced the same kind of situation with my partner “Mary” and
     when I did what you just explained she said that it felt like this… Is that what
     happened in your situation as well?”
     Group leaders need to interrupt group feedback that supports negative bonding
     against the partner.
     Call on experienced and hopefully well qualified, high functioning group
     members to offer feedback and set a good example.
     Call on or prompt less experienced or reluctant group members to give feedback
     and then offer immediate constructive comments if they need improvement.
     Group members who are receiving feedback should be urged to listen carefully
     and non-defensively.
     Intimidation by a group member must be addressed and stopped if the facilitators
     hope to build a good group process. There are some men who through their
     demeanor and behavior can be intimidating to other group members.
     When a group member actively resists participating by learning to give good
     feedback, the group leaders must first try coaching the client. If coaching doesn’t
     work, group leaders must take further steps such as an explicit feedback contract
     that numerically specifies the number of acceptable instances of feedback that the
     client must give in every group.




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