CPE Week: Linda Delaney on Empowerment Evaluation – Evaluative and Non-evaluative Feedback

My name is Linda Delaney and I am a Learning Coordinator for the City of Memphis Office of Talent Development. I have been a consultant in evaluation for over 10 years. I work with Dr. David Fetterman as an evaluator for the Minority Sub-recipient Grant Office in Arkansas – a State-wide tobacco prevention evaluation.

In Empowerment Evaluation, simplicity is a key factor to ensure that participants can easily apply concepts that help them to identify and clarify their mission, assess their performance, and strategically plan activities to accomplish their long-term goals.

In addition, as an administrator, trainer, and facilitator of Empowerment Evaluation, I provide evaluative (positive and constructive) and non-evaluative feedback along the way. Providing feedback to community and program staff members is critical and helps guide the learning process.

Rad Source: Using Effective Communication Skills PowerPoint

Hot Tip – Provide evaluative feedback tools: Participants like measurements that simply let them know where they are: on track or not.

Hot Tip – Provide positive evaluation feedback: Participants are encouraged when they to hear from the evaluator that they have done a good job. It reinforces constructive behavior and activity, required to move the project forward.

Hot Tip – Provide constructive evaluative feedback: When you need to instruct and guide participants on how to correct actions, constructive evaluative feedback is necessary. The term “constructive feedback” often generates a negative initial response, but community or staff member response is determined by the manner in which the message is delivered. Avoiding a tone of criticism that sounds like they are being “chewed out” goes a long way in producing the desired results. Constructive feedback shared in supportive tones can help to put things back on track.

Hot Tip – Provide non-evaluative feedback: Non-evaluative feedback does not assign a value to actions. It simply acknowledges the actions and/or feelings of people. Non-evaluative feedback can be as simple as saying, “thank you for your input” or “that’s an interesting way of looking at things”.

Lessons Learned: When would participants want to hear your feedback? When they are still thinking about the work and when they can still do something about it. Giving immediate and appropriate feedback helps participants hear it and use it while the performance in question or actions are still fresh on their minds.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating CPE week with our colleagues in the Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment TIG. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our CPE TIG Colleagues. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice.

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