Giving effective feedback is a vital part of communication, whether inside or outside the boardroom or classroom. Bob Dignen explains why.
Different aspects of communication lay claim to being the most important: listening effectively or building trust, for example. Though these are important, the critical skill for me is feedback, both giving and getting. Effective feedback has benefits for the giver, the receiver and the wider organisation. Here are five reasons why feedback is perhaps the most important communication skill.
#1 Feedback is there all the time
Ask people when feedback happens in business and they usually talk about times such as the annual appraisal, or a disciplinary conversation following some kind of wrongdoing. In fact, feedback is around us all the time. Every time we speak or listen to another person, in our tone of voice, in the words we use, in the silences which we allow, we communicate feedback – how far we trust, how much we respect, the degree to which we love, like or even hate the person in front of us. We cannot not give feedback. If we think we’re not doing it, we’re a dangerous communicator because it means we are probably not managing communication effectively.