Your students are hungry to encounter God and grow as revivalists! As a leader, one of the greatest ways you can support their development is to provide valuable feedback. By sharing your unique perspective, you will help unlock their potential.
As you provide feedback to your students, especially during times of activation, we encourage you to keep these five tips in mind. Remember, you as a leader hold a valuable role in your students’ lives! Sharing ongoing feedback will enhance learning and creates safety in your school environment.
1. Share Expectations
Whether you are in a one-on-one meeting or in front of an entire class, make time to share the purpose of feedback with your students. This might be a new concept for some, or you may have others who have been previously hurt by those who did not give feedback with honor and love. We encourage you to clearly explain the value of feedback and what it will look like.
It is especially important to convey to your students that feedback is a process designed for growth; it is not rooted in punishment or negativity. Feedback creates opportunities for new levels of learning and vulnerability for each person. Consider modeling examples of feedback for your students so that they can experience and embrace the culture you are establishing.
2. Create Safety
Receiving feedback from a trusted source is most effective! We encourage you to make sure your students know your heart is for them when you provide feedback during times of activation. This builds trust with your students and creates safety. When they know you are there to champion and support their growth, they will feel safe to take risks! As your students feel secure with you and your leadership, their ability to receive your feedback will grow.
When you share feedback with a student regarding a character issue, carefully choose the right timing and setting. A student will be more receptive to your feedback when in a safe space. If you know you need to give this kind of feedback to a student, consider setting up a private one-on-one meeting. To help remove anxiety from the situation, we encourage you to share your desire to support the student.
3. Call Out the Gold
It’s really important to give as much positive feedback as you give constructive feedback. We encourage you to start your feedback conversations with students with encouragement and appreciation. This demonstrates honor and value for them! Celebrating what they did well affirms their hard work and willingness to step out. When students receive words of affirmation, it will support and inspire them to continue to take risks and shine. Sharing encouragement may even bring healing to those who experienced hurt while receiving feedback that was negative.
At BSSM, we love to give our leaders as well as our students the opportunity to encourage one another during preach week! As each student preaches in front of his/her peers, the group shares three positive things about the message before communicating ways the person can improve. It creates a powerful culture of feedback and celebration!
4. Be Constructive
We encourage you to share constructive and specific feedback that will help your students grow. Your role as a leader in their lives is to help them take steps to grow into powerful revivalists. With wisdom and love, don’t be afraid to celebrate what they did well and point out the ways they can improve. Remember, your job is not to please them; your job is to encourage and challenge them to step into the fullness of their identity as children of God.
When sharing feedback, we recommend giving details and examples of how they can improve. When you share specific ways your students can grow, they have something to focus on and are empowered to make positive changes! Here is an example of how you could share feedback with a student who shared a testimony in front of the class:
Overall, great job sharing the testimony about the woman getting healed when you laid hands on her during your outreach! I so appreciate your boldness and initiative to share and release the breakthrough over our class. I did notice that you didn’t tell us how long she had been sick or the symptoms she was previously experiencing. For next time, I would encourage you to take some extra time to share those details so we can understand the full measure of the miracle she received.
5. Share Right Away
Feedback is best when delivered promptly and regularly. If a student made a misstep in a prophetic activation, it’s better to share feedback as soon as possible and not wait a week or so. Providing on-the-spot feedback can be most helpful as it doesn’t rely on your or the student’s memory. In fact, it increases learning when you can use these moments to teach your students how to make a quick adjustment.
Remember, all feedback does not have to be delivered in formal meetings or conversations. You can give productive and powerful feedback with a quick, specific statement. During times of activation, we encourage you to build in time to provide students with feedback and time to answer any questions they may have.
As a leader, the Holy Spirit wants to use you to grow your students in confidence in their identity, gifts, and talents. Feedback increases learning and productivity, creating a powerful cycle of growth in your environment that helps students actualize their potential. May you see abundant fruit in the lives of your students as you share valuable feedback!