Tips on Giving Constructive Feedback
These tips are for family members, teachers, coaches, mentors, and any other individuals who complete the Social Skills Assessment Part 2 – Assessment by Trusted Adult.
When you compare your results to those of the JobTIPS user (the self-assessor), it is important to provide feedback in a constructive, supportive manner. The JobTIPS user may not perceive his / her strengths and weaknesses in the same way as you do. Furthermore, it may be difficult for the JobTIPS user to understand your perspective.
Many individuals with autism spectrum disorders display deficits in the area of perspective-taking. This means they may struggle to accurately recognize the attitudes, emotions, and intentions of others.
The results-comparison phase should be a positive and instructive process. Here are tips on how to deliver your feedback in a realistic, yet supportive manner:
Focus on areas of agreement and provide praise for accurate self-assessment.
- Focus on areas of agreement and provide praise for accurate self-assessment.
- Focus on areas of strength as well. Spread this focus on strengths across the conversation.
- Do not focus on every single weakness or area of disagreement; select 3-5 of the most important areas.
- End on a positive note! Highlight the JobTIPS user’s strengths again, and remind them that everyone has weaknesses.
For example, if you both agreed that the JobTIPS user needs to work on their body language in conversations, be sure to praise him/her for recognizing this.
- Focus on areas of strength as well (questions that received a score of "A"). Spread this focus on strengths accros the conversation. This means after you talk about a few areas of disagreement / weakness, then highlight several strengths.
- As you address areas of disagreement, select the items that are most relevant to the JobTIPS user’s everyday life and needs. Do not focus on every single weakness or area of disagreement. In fact, if the user can only handle discussing 3-4 of the items, then choose those few that are most important. This is a lot of information and the user may be sensitive, as many people would be. After all, who enjoys having their flaws discussed? As you address areas of disagreement, be sure to provide concrete and recent examples to support your opinion. You need to provide concrete examples so that the user will be more likely to understand your perspective.
For example, if you do not agree on item #11 ( "Chooses topics of conversation that other people would find interesting"), point to recent examples where he /she did not display this skill. It may help to use visual aids to support your discussion.
When you talk to John, here is what he is interested in:
Here is what he is not interested in hearing about on a regular basis:
- TV Shows
- Classic Rock and Roll
- Restaurants and food
- His family
- Work-related topics
- Classic horror movies
- The band Kiss
- End on a positive note! Highlight the JobTIPS user’s strengths again, and remind them that everyone has weaknesses. Reiterate that everyone has to work to improve on those weaknesses.