How to interpret your Mock Class/ Certification Class feedback

I have talked a little about Chinese culture, and face, in previous posts (See Communication and Cultural Understanding Writing Culturally Appropriate Parent Feedback). It is not surprising, given the cultural differences, that we might receive feedback or information in an unexpected way. When it comes to mock/ certification classes, even though these lessons are given by North American teachers, keep in mind that the written feedback format is provided by head office.

Given the emphasis on “face” in Chinese culture, which is essentially the way a person is perceived by others in their society/ social circle, feedback received in a way that is considered culturally appropriate in China will be less direct, and spun in a positive light. This allows an individual to receive feedback without feeling as though their boss/ supervisor doesn’t respect them. There is a lot more to “face” then that, so if you are interested in learning more here is a great post Face in China.

In North America there tends to be an emphasis on progress, with a more direct approach to feedback in the workplace. Employees are under the understanding that feedback is meant to improve them, and is not directly related to their character. If you are used to a more direct approach in the workplace then you might find the more indirect approach frustrating, as it can feel like your mentor had nothing but positive things to say, and yet here you are repeating the certification/ mock class process all over again with no idea of where to improve. I hope that you can find this a helpful guide to understanding, and learning from the feedback you have received.

  1. Look at your “areas where you could improve.”

When you look at your feedback you will see two sections labelled “areas where you could improve” and “areas where you did well”. Both sections are important to look at, but the most important place to start is “areas where you could improve”. Here you will find the most important areas for you to focus on. Break your feedback down categorically, make a list, and then refer back to your training material on those topics.

  1. Uncertain words

Now it’s time to dissect the “areas where you did well”. Keep in mind that in a culture that puts heavy emphasis on the way an individual is viewed in society, criticism is often given in a more round-about way in order to allow the individual to still feel valued. Yes there will absolutely be areas you need to improve on in the “areas where you did well” category unless your mentor has done some heavy editing to the feedback format provided by head office.

Words like: some, usually, most of the time, etc. give the impression that there is area to improve.

  1. Numbers

Once again looking at the “areas where you did well”, you will notice that some categories like prop usage, might give you a number. Take note of the numbers and check back with your training material. If you have used two props, for instance, but more are recommended in the training material, you might want to take that into consideration when practicing for you next lesson.

Give it to me straight

When you first read your feedback you may feel like you had a glowing review from your mentor, and you may be confused as to why you are being asked to repeat the process after such a fantastic class. When it comes to business in North America, we have a tendency to want things to be clear cut and simple, realizing the importance of improvement and progress. If you want to interpret your feedback in a clear cut, no nonsense way, try categorizing the information as follows:

Needs improvement: areas where you could improve

Satisfactory: look for uncertain words/ numbers that are lower than recommended

Good/ Great: Look for positive words (great job, fantastic etc.)

Don’t give up

The feedback covers skill based content. Though it may feel like a lot to handle at first, it is all learn-able material. Keep practicing! Recruit a friend to play your student if it helps you, and record your practice session to better judge areas to improve. If you still feel lost, check out fast pass, a free training event to help applicants gain the skills they need for their certification class. Click here to see dates and locations: Fast Pass in Person Coaching. Another great resource is Online Coaching. Click here: Online Coaching to get more information on Online Coaching. Don’t hesitate to shoot me a message if you have questions. The best way to ask is to comment on this post so others can benefit from the answers as well. You can also contact me at, and you can find a link to my referral page here:

If you want to use my referral code it is JENNI0001 but don’t feel obligated! I am more of a starving writer then a VIPkid recruiter. Any money I make through recruitment goes directly into my writing projects. Thanks for reading!

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