Mental traps to avoid while interpreting feedback: insights from administering feedback to school principals
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This article summarizes our experiences in the counseling sessions that followed the administration of multifaceted feedback to 107 principals. The various responses displayed by the principals toward the feedback they received are discussed. The responses have been classified as those avoiding and denial at two levels (avoidance of the feedback received and denial in the process of interpretation), rationalization of the feedback received, superficiality in data interpretation, and unnatural behavioral manifestations on receiving the feedback such as overreaction and overdramatization, self-pity, and starting to feel unwell. Although these reactions might help the recipient avoid feeling anxious or upset about the feedback, these are also traps that stop the recipient from benefiting from the feedback. Knowledge of such reactions may help recipients of feedback to inoculate themselves against such traps and thus help them gain maximally from the feedback process.
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