Project Communication Management – Feedback
Irrespective of how we communicate with another party the impact of the message they wish to purvey may be received differently from what we intended, again possibly due to a differing perception. In order to minimise misunderstanding we should always try and clarify by using feedback.
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Types of feedback
There are two main types of feedback and they are the lifeblood of any project and project team, without feedback team members will not know what they are doing well and therefore what they should keep doing. They also won’t know what they have done incorrectly and therefore what they must fix or improve. The two types of feedback are:
Motivational – tells a person what they have done well.
- Purpose – to encourage the person and reinforce their good behaviour or performance.
Developmental – tells the person what could be improved upon.
- Purpose – to help the person see how they could do a better job next time and/or understand the impact of their actions and behaviours on others.
How to Give Feedback
- Seek agreement from the receiver if appropriate
- Keep motivational and formative separate
- Make sure the timing is right
- Focus on behaviour and not the person
- Give specific examples
- Deliver in a positive supportive manner
- Demonstrate TRUST
- Deliver frequently – don’t store it up
How to Receive Feedback
Receiving feedback is often more difficult than giving it even when it is motivational. The following are some pointers on how feedback should be received.
- Accept the feedback graciously
- Don’t throw it back at the giver by saying ‘you must want something!’ or by denying it
- Thank the person for making the effort to give you the feedback
- Listen and be receptive
- Clarify understanding if unclear
- Do not be defensive
- Do not deny the other person’s perception or experience
- Think about it – remember we rarely see ourselves as others do!
- If you believe the feedback is unreasonable, seek the opinions of others in a positive and objective manner. This may help you to decide whether to accept and act upon it or not.
- Thank the person for the feedback. Treat it as a gift!
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