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Become a better dog trainer/human coach.


When I have an experience, I often reflect on how it is applicable elsewhere.


Coaching feedback can be defined as “Clear and specific information that’s sought or extended for the sole intention of helping individuals or groups improve, grow, or advance.” 


“Every great feedback experience is anchored in fairness, focus, and frequency.”

Fairness is about trust.

Focus is about making the feedback specific, targeted, and brief.

Frequency is the accelerator.”


As those who give feedback to our trainees (human and dog), we have to keep these things in mind.


Fairness

Are we behaving in a trustworthy way?

Are we organising training exercises, saying and doing things that genuinely have our learner’s best interests at heart?


Pay attention to the learner. Do they agree or are they responding with feedback which tells you that what you’re doing is off base?


Setting a learner up to fail, pointing out and correcting errors all the time can be very disheartening. You need to give them opportunities to succeed, notice what’s going well, acknowledge that and build on it.


Focus

Choose something specific to support them with and let all the other errors go. Targeted feedback given regularly will be much more effective than long training sessions with too much information about the many improvements that need to happen.


If you find you don’t actually have any ideas about how to help, only a list of what’s going wrong, stop and rethink what you’re doing. Perhaps ask someone else for ideas. Change what you do next time, so that you are clearer about the goal, the way to get there, and the feedback to give on the way.


Focus in dog training might be a short training session for door manners. It might be moments of praise or attention because the dog is doing what you want (maybe just lounging around quietly). It’s training and relationship building presented in clear, specific ways.


Frequency

Builds on focus. Pay attention. Give feedback often.  Give much more positive feedback than negative. The learner needs to know what’s going right, not just what’s going wrong.





 


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