I had a light bulb moment last night during a building meeting...
The term feedback is being misused, overused and getting a bit of a bad reputation. There are critical differences between feedback, input and information. Here are some formulas that break down the distinction.
If a decision has been made, a product finalized or dotted line signed you are providing input. If there is no golden second opportunity to revise, evaluate, grow or change you aren't asking for feedback, you are asking for input. This may include questions like: Do you support this? What are your thoughts? What was the reaction from your staff? Responses can be positive, negative or anywhere in between but it isn't feedback - it is input.
Decision Made and Finalized + Ask for Feedback = INPUT
If you are being asked for feedback in the form of drop down menus, checklists or surveys, you are providing information. For example, if you send a survey to see how your district math resources are being used, you aren't getting feedback, you are getting information. It is not functional, feasible, reflective feedback that moves forward, it is data. Without any follow-up, this data provides information. Information that may lead to further questions that may eventually lead to some sort of feedback loop but that survey isn't feedback - it is information.
Survey + Ask for Feedback + No Follow-Up = INFORMATION
If you are asking for feedback so you can revise, identify, grow or change, you ARE asking for feedback. If you think critically and offer functional, feasible, reflective ideas or observations that move forward, you are giving feedback. Feedback can be positive, identifying something that is done well and should be continued and some feedback might be difficult to hear or read. And that's OK. The essential attribute in looking at feedback or looking for feedback is growth mindset.
Ask For Feedback + Growth Mindset + Revise, Evaluate, Grow, Change = FEEDBACK