Giving feedback – is that an Art or a Science? Let us leave that argument for the pundits. The bottom line though is that it is one life skill that all of us would do good to understand and master.
I have often been quite amazed, when I have witnessed somebody giving a very strong feedback to a colleague or an acquaintance, and yet the receiver – far from being defensive – receives the feedback in a very positive manner. How does this happen? Does it only depend on the receiver or does the sender play an equally important role in successful feedback sharing?
Years of getting feedback – a lot of it from my wife (sob!) – has taught me that the feedback giver plays a big role in making the receiver open and comfortable, even before he starts giving the actual feedback. At such times, feedback that is given – is gracefully done so – and often helps strengthening the bond with the receiver.
Here are 5 nuggets of wisdom, culled from years of experience, battering and learning:
C) Email / SMS / Whatsapp:
A study said that more than 70% of all human communication happens through non-verbal means. Hence, as convenient as technology is – in most cases, an email, sms or whatsapp message doesn’t quite reflect the emotions, intentions or the care – as face to face communication does.
B) Phone call:
Though calling is a much better option than the two above, but it is certainly not the best method for an effective delivery. Yes, the person can hear you but don’t forget that the words can be misleading if delivered without the right emotional connect.
A) In Person:
This is the most appropriate method to deliver your feedback. Especially for two reasons: 1) When two people are face-to-face and give out the desired vibes, there is an additional connection that takes place that helps in impactful message delivery. 2) You can catch the direct/indirect signals coming from the receiver if he isn’t clear or convinced about any part of the feedback, giving you a real time opportunity to explain your point better.
Giving and Receiving feedback is an important life skill. The world would be a much more open, happy place if all of us were to master this skill.
Go ahead – try these few steps and let me know how it goes for you. One last tip from a veteran: Don’t fear feedback especially from people whose opinions you respect. Ask for it and learn from it. Feedback can take you to great places. You will become a better YOU with feedback.
I look forward to hearing your feedback!