Try This One Phrase to Make Feedback 40% More Effective
“We instinctively think that effective feedback is about the quality of the information–telling the learner to do this and not that. But is this true, or is there something else going on?
A team of psychologists from Stanford, Yale, Columbia, and elsewhere recently set out to explore that question. … To their surprise, researchers discovered that there was one particular type of teacher feedback that improved student effort and performance so much that they deemed it ‘magical.’ … What was the magical feedback?
Just one phrase:
I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them.
That’s it: just 19 words. But those words are powerful because they are not really feedback. They’re a signal that creates something more powerful: a sense of belonging and connection.
Looking closer, the phrase contains several distinct signals:
1) You are part of this group.
2) This group is special; we have higher standards here.
3) I believe you can reach those standards.
The key is to understand that this feedback isn’t just feedback–it’s a vital cue about the relationship. … Evolution has built us to be cagey with our efforts; after all, engagement is expensive from a biological standpoint. But when we receive an authentic, crystal-clear signal of social trust, belonging, and high expectations, the floodgates click open.”