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Feedback is key to a successful business

Posted by on 17 Oct 2012

Mark Fitzmaurice, director Dale Carnegie Training, shares his top tips on feedback, and how it can work for a business.

Any action whether spoken or otherwise grants individuals with the opportunity to give or receive feedback. Feedback ultimately provides the key functions of both showing the individual you are listening, as well as validating the speaker’s contributions as important.

Nevertheless, perhaps the most valuable purpose of feedback is its ability to be used as a basis for improvement. This is the same whether responding to a request or coaching an employee through a learning process, feedback is crucial in developing the goals and results needed to be successful in the workplace. Such successes can therefore be achieved through the simple art of providing both constructive and encouraging feedback towards the recipient.

However, in order for constructive feedback to be given the communication between parties must be effective as well as clear. Mark Fitzmaurice, director at Dale Carnegie Northern England, discussed some skills and tips to help provide coherent and practical communication:

Recognise strength - Firstly, identify a positive attribute you see within an employee. Inform the employee on why that strength is both important as well as relevant. This action should reassure your employee and encourage them to continue making progress towards their goals and objectives.

Keep it brief - Try to keep feedback to 10-20 seconds or less. By being concise this will allow your message greater power. The short time frame means you will have your employee’s complete attention and allows your feedback to remain consistent, rather than diluting it with a long winded response.

Focus on the person and not yourself - It is important to bear in mind that your goal is to build confidence within your employee. Therefore it is important to shine the light on the person receiving the feedback and not on yourself.

Get the group to respond - When possible there should be opportunities for a group to encourage its members. Hearing from a peer could help to increase employee confidence.

Ensure the response is person-centered - Try not to repeat what the individual already said or did and therefore knows. Instead it is more productive to highlight strength and relate that strength or quality to the person’s real world.

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