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The Best Ways to Give and Receive Feedback

Communication is a key component of teamwork. In order to get tasks completed, team members need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively. An important aspect of communication is giving and receiving feedback. When someone on your team could improve or change the way they are doing something, how can you share that in a helpful and positive way? If someone on the team gives you feedback about your performance, how should you respond? Both of these are significant components of effective communication and teamwork.

Giving Feedback

1. Stay Focused
Provide feedback that is directly focused on the issue or the situation at hand. Do not discuss side issues or aspects of the receiver’s personality.

2. Be Clear and Specific
Be clear about the issue and what could be done differently. Do not talk around the issue, but get right to the point and be specific so that the receiver is not confused.

3. Timely Delivery
It is best to provide feedback as quickly as possible. If the feedback is delayed for too long, the receiver may have trouble recalling the details of the situation. Immediate feedback will generally be most effective.

4. Best Timing
Although immediate feedback is important, there are times when the moment is not the best. If emotions are high and the receiver is angry and upset, it may be best to defer the discussion but make sure to have the conversation soon.

5. Mind Your Tone
When providing negative feedback, avoid accusing the receiver. The basis for negative feedback should be how it impacted you and your point of view. This feedback is not attacking the receiver or blaming them, but shares your own feelings.

6. Positivity
As you provide feedback, come from the place of wanting what is best for the receiver. The goal is to help them succeed and even if the feedback is negative, encourage the receiver that you are looking for ways to help them improve.

7. Practice, Practice, Practice
As a leader or team contributor it is important to continue to give feedback, even if it is not always well received. It is a method to help others grow and to help the team succeed – so it is important to continue giving it.

Receiving Feedback

1. Be Open
Recognize that feedback is for your benefit and will only help you grow. Be a person who is open to the ideas of others, recognizing that you don’t have all the answers. Recognize that others on your team have a lot to offer and be a person who is open to feedback.

2. Listen
Instead of jumping to conclusions or immediately forming your response in your mind, stop yourself and really listen to the feedback.

3. Ask
Ask questions if you do not understand the feedback or if you need clarification. This will also help the giver know that you are listening and are trying to understand.

4. Control
When someone has negative feedback, it is easy to get defensive and feel attacked. Control those feelings and consider their point of view. Let their feedback be something that inspires you to improve and change. If you control your defensiveness, they will probably be more willing to provide feedback in the future.

5. Verify
If you have received feedback and are not sure if it is accurate, take the time to ask questions and do the research to see if that approach is best. Be willing to consider the feedback but also double-check its validity if necessary.

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