Giving and Receiving Feedback
Building and maintaining healthy relations within the project, especially within teams and working groups requires the skills to communicate both positive and negative things, the ability to address emotional states and work out constructive solutions. Regularly giving and receiving feedback is a great way to evaluate activities, keeping up-to-date with co-workers and resolving tensions before they develop into arguments and conflicts.
There are however a few things to keep in mind for the feedback to work as intended.
• First of all choose the right moment. The person you are addressing should be ready and willing to receive feedback and not overworked, very tired, distressed, etc.
• Be honest and specific, present your point of view and express how the aspects mentioned have affected you.
• Remember to only address actions and behaviour, not the personality of the receiving person. It is much easier and useful to agree on something that could have been done differently than to quarrel about how someone is or isn’t.
• Get the person involved: ask how they see the issue and encourage him or her to propose a solution.
• Make sure the feedback is constructive and useful for the person concerned.
• Don’t focus solely on the negative parts of the situation, make sure to mention what you appreciate.
It is just as important to know how to give feedback as well as receive it. Receiving feedback can also give you hints on the kind of things you should avoid when giving feedback yourself. When you are on the receiving end, remember to listen attentively to everything that is being said. Don’t interrupt (verbally and non-verbally), and don’t get defensive. Consider the information to be the sole opinion of another person and an important source of information. The act of receiving feedback is sometimes difficult, but it is a good way to learn and develop.