Recently at work, we as a team had a training on Listening Skills and feedback. Although I’ve attended various other sessions on listening and practiced it in Counseling, I hardly had given it thought beyond work. But this session particularly stirred up my thoughts otherwise.
Here are a few things that I’ve stirred in my head, hope you can also get a taste of it as well.
Feedback as we all know, plays a major part in communication. It completes the communication process. Good Communication not only is the solution to most problems but also is necessary, as interactions form a crucial part of who we are and defines our relationships. Unfortunately in real life, feedback is ignored both given or taken and hence our communications remain incomplete and our relationships shallow.
I struggle with both giving and receiving feedback and also have experienced others who have similar issues. Although we wish our relations were better, we are often content in our comfort zones. I feel I miss out on enjoying my friendships just because I don’t have the guts to take the risk of telling whats on my mind which ultimately is for the better.
In a situation where I might have to give feedback, I am constantly worried about what the person would think of me or of their reactions. And when given feedback, I make excuses and the worst long explanations. I back off from either giving or receiving feedback and in turn compromise my relationships with friends, colleagues.
The training we had helped me look at feedback from a new perspective since had (sort of forced lol !!!) to practice giving feedback. I freaked out and became nervous but I felt so good later. It was a surprise to me the way I felt free and confident and also the relationship seemed more open.
So if you are in a similar position, (I bet am not the only coward in the world) where you want your relationships to be stronger and communications better, you should give feedback a chance. It is scary and difficult but not impossible. I definitely want my relationships with people around to be be stronger and I am going to try hard at it.
Just a closing thought, what also helped me (also learnt at the training ) were a set of rules, which might come in handy
Rules for Feedback – By Scott Smith, Manual for Community Transformation, EHA.
When giving Feedback
- Always write down what you are going to say
- Ask permission to give feedback
- First give positive and THEN only negative feedback
- Give feedback on actions or behaviors that can be changed.
- Remember it is the giver’s opinion and not the ultimate truth
- Do not deny or make excuses
- Ask for clarifications if you cannot understand
- You can always stop the person any time
- Say Thank you