Criticism is never an easy thing to hear, but it can be just as difficult to give. We want our riders and fellow instructors to improve, but we don’t want to deliver criticism in a way that’s hurtful or demeaning. Feedback should help us feel good going forward, not hurting our self-esteem!As Spinning® instructors, we are obligated to teach and encourage our riders in order to maximize their potential and reach their fitness goals. Sometimes, this requires a little constructive feedback that will motivate them toward moving forward with confidence, not discouragement. Obviously, it can be a touch balancing act, offering advice and pointers that don’t make the recipient feel like they’re failing.For those instructors who are timid about offering advice or criticism, fearful that it may not come out the right way, here are some helpful tips that will make the process of giving constructive feedback a whole lot easier:
- Make it valuable. Feedback must have a constructive purpose before it is given. Be certain that you have good, positive intentions that will have practical value. Don’t act on impulse or give emotionally-charged feedback. Remaining calm and logical will make your feedback all the more valuable.
- Be descriptive, not judgmental. Being judgmental can result in a defensive response. Focus on your specific observations about the instructor or rider’s action that he or she performed, with specific detail to hone in on the problem you want solve.
- Ask for a response. Remember to ask for the other person’s point of view. Even though you are being constructive and providing value, try to balance it out by listening too.
- Offer a solution. If there isn’t an immediate solution, then start making suggestions that they can build on over time.
- Move forward. You’ve already discussed the negative behavior, now move forward by discussing future steps on how to implement your solutions and offering your support.