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Using Feedback as a Tool

~ By Project Smart

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As a project manager, it is important to be able to give and receive feedback effectively. Feedback is best given on a one to one basis soon after the event that triggers its need. Here are some tips that can help when giving and receiving feedback:

Giving Feedback

  • Feedback is always more powerful when asked for
  • Think about when and where you give feedback
  • Think carefully about what you want to say and how to say it
  • Feedback is as much about stating the positives as it is about stating the negatives
  • Be specific about the behaviours you are commenting on
  • Take responsibility for your feedback; say "I feel," "I noticed"
  • Make your comments clearly and don't get emotional
  • Use analogies and examples to illustrate your points
  • Be aware of the other person's body language
  • Allow an opportunity for discussion and actively listen
  • Make sure you understand whether the feedback has been accepted or rejected
  • Look together for a solution or for a way of making things better

Receiving Feedback

  • Don't be afraid to ask for feedback
  • Listen carefully to the feedback
  • Don't leap to your own defence
  • Check your understanding and ask questions to clarify any grey areas
  • Ask for specific examples of good and bad behaviours
  • Allow yourself time to take in the feedback
  • Say which points you agree with and those you don't and why
  • Look together for a solution or for a way of making things better
  • Thank the other person for their time and effort in giving you the feedback

Feedback is a powerful tool often under utilised. It can be used to motivate people, help with a persons' development, uncover risks and issues and solve problems. Frequent, honest and relevant feedback helps to foster an environment of open communications. Start now, there's no time like the present.


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