Feedback is a bidirectional process that occurs when a person communicates an opinion to another person, regarding something the second person said or did.
The Oxford Dictionary defines feedback as:
“Informations about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task, etc. which is used as a basis for improvement.”
Feedback is crucial in pretty much any relationship, and within the workplace, it becomes key to success.
All kinds of feedback are important
Honest feedback is powerful for everyone involved. It allows people that receive the feedback to improve, to learn, and get encouragement. If it’s negative feedback, it turns out positively by challenging someone to do better next time. It is a matter of setting a clear ground, the goal is to improve, to help each other, and not to diminish people.
Positive feedback is sometimes forgotten, but it is also vital. Reinforcing someone’s work plays an important part in the development of a team, not only because it strengths the work itself, by raising consensus around it, but it’s also an ego boost for those executing it, and that’s an important part of people’s happiness at the workplace.
Everyone benefits from feedback
People who receive feedback can enjoy a compliment or act on an opportunity to improve themselves and their work. It’s also a great way to bond with others and to better understand how our work is perceived. Receiving feedback lets us grow and learn, often clearing our vision on something and helping us to find out what and how we must improve our work and ourselves.
We all value this. Nevertheless, sometimes we neglect the benefits feedback brings to those giving it.
The person that gives feedback plays an important part in the process, without her there wouldn’t be any feedback to beginning with. But, what’s in it for these people? First of all, giving feedback is a way to express ourselves and our opinions. People like to be heard and feel valued, and feedback is a perfect way to get both. Also, constructive and truthful feedback strengthens relationships and brings people closer, which is a mutual benefit for those involved, and a huge plus for any company.
From a management point of view, giving feedback is an effective way to solve problems and to improve a team, it’s relationship and it’s productivity.
It’s a daily activity
Feedback is not a periodic review of performance. It’s a daily activity that should be cultivated and encouraged. We must be proactive givers and active listeners.
Through feedback, there’s an opportunity to create and innovate by connecting different people to the same issue, no matter what it may be. On the other hand, asking for feedback is a smart way to unblock ideas and solutions.
There are numerous ways to give feedback. It can be a simple e-mail after a meeting, telling the person who hosted it what you thought about it, and why you felt that way. You can invite the person you want to give feedback to take a walk with you in the garden near the office. There are no strict rules here. Nor should it be.
Formal feedback, like quarterly reviews, is important and should exist. But feedback must be a daily activity, much more dynamic than a preset evaluation meeting or report.
Is there something you would like to say to someone? Say it. Do you need an opinion about something? Ask. Use feedback as often as possible, both as a giver and as a receiver. It will boost your growth and those around you as well.