The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback: How to Improve Communication and Build Stronger Relationships

Communication is a two-way thing; you give information and someone takes it or vice versa. And sometimes, feedback is the message being communicated. Remember the last time you submitted a milestone at work and your boss promised to drop feedback later? Yeah. That is exactly the type of communication in view here. 

However, some people don’t do well with handling unpalatable feedback as they tend to perceive it wrongly. Well, we know negative feedback may be demotivating and unsettling for anyone. But if you are one of these people, rest assured that your perspective is about to change from here. 

First, know that there would always be positive and so-to-say negative feedback on any tasks or assignments delivered at various spheres of life. It is the way we handle this feedback that determines if we would learn from them or not. Hence, this article would show you how to give and receive feedback to improve your communication skills and build stronger relationships. 

Quickly, what is feedback? Feedback is the comment on a piece of work or task be it positive, negative or even neutral. It usually includes insights, advice or suggestions on how an action outcome can be improved and made better. It helps to evaluate the success of a task, give purpose and direction to action and improve the growth of the receiver. 

This leads to the included parties in a feedback process. There is usually the giver and the receiver to have a whole feedback action. An example is a freelance writer that submits an article to his or her contractor. The contractor then comments on what the writer did well or can improve on. 

Furthermore, giving feedback simply means being the person that provides insight or suggestions to another person on how a work or task can be improved and better. Sometimes, a person giving feedback would have a neutral comment as he or she may not find anything done wrong or that could be improved on in the work.

Then, receiving feedback is simply being on the other end of the feedback process -being the person that gets feedback on his or her work. You would be the one to effect the suggested changes to boost the quality of a task or an overall piece of work.

So how do you give or receive feedback? Let’s get to the simple tips that can help you communicate better and build stronger relationships. 

Tips for Giving Feedback to Improve Communication and Build Stronger Relationships

  1. Know the purpose: Always be in tune with the essence of a work by knowing the reason it was created initially. Only then can you evaluate the submission of work and whether it fulfils the intended purpose or not. You can check the expected features the submission ticks out. After evaluation, politely revert to the work creator on the expected features of the work that was done wrongly and could be improved on.
  1. Acknowledge efforts first: Whenever you are in a position to give feedback, always appreciate the effort put into the submission of work before delving into the details of your observations. And you may be grumbling that you are the boss here, ‘so why appreciate the work first?’ Well, it is just proof that honest and polite appreciation, especially in workplaces motivates workers to get more productive in their roles. So, it is in the best interest of your company to consider doing this for an optimised productivity result.
  1. Be objective: Focusing on the actions rather than the person that took the action can help you give proper and relevant feedback. For example, say ‘Placing the conclusion before the body of content is not the best way to deliver an optimised article. It is better if it is the other way round as it gives the reader full information early into the article.’ 

This way, the article writer can see the reason for doing things differently. And simultaneously, it can help improve the writer’s article writing ability which directly boosts your company’s SEO performance.

  1. Ask questions: Get a view into the person’s rationality behind delivering the kind of work they did. When you ask questions amidst your suggestions, the feedback receiver believes that you respect their decision and look to understand them better for work optimisation. 
  1. Give examples: Just like we did in tip number 3, giving examples of what you want a feedback receiver to do on work makes it easier for both parties to deliver excellently on tasks.
  1. Be timely and discerning: Try as much as possible to give your feedback early, or at least promptly, so that your feedback receiver can have enough time to make corrections. Also, learn to access the current mental state of the receiver when you intend to give your feedback. 

Sometimes, ask the person if the time is right to get feedback on their submitted work. This way, you can be sure that they are in the right state of mind to understand and process your feedback efficiently. Although, this is easier when in the same physical space as your receiver though.

Tips for Receiving Feedback to Improve Communication and Build Stronger Relationships

  1. Prioritise growth: See feedback as a growth channel that is there to help you improve your abilities at work. Feedback is capable of pulling you towards growth if you allow it to. How? Simply because each time you make necessary changes from feedback, you learn new and better ways to do one particular task.
  1. Accept your mistakes: Being able to agree that you are wrong on some fronts in your work makes your growth process from feedback easier and faster. Accepting that you can make mistakes is a greater show of strength than a weakness as many may have thought. So, next time you get feedback that sincerely shows you places you could have done better, embrace it and act accordingly.  
  1. Process and evaluate feedback calmly: The best way to handle your feedback is through evaluation and evaluation. See if the feedback is relevant and helpful to your work. Check if it is in line with the purpose of your work and adopt the changes where necessary.
  1. Find feedback: After seeing feedback as a growth channel, why not get as much feedback as possible? You should, right? Then, that is exactly what you would be doing when you ask for feedback on your work. Ask for feedback from experts and more experienced professionals in your career path or workplace on your work. Do it consistently and repeatedly, it helps.

Wrapping up

Feedback doesn’t kill as some people may have perceived it to. As you can see, most of these tips are only there to help you improve your communication and build stronger relationships, anywhere, any day. So, start using these tips in your daily engagement to handle your feedback better.

For similar helpful advice, go to our blog page today. 

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