Feedback Communication - Meaning and its Importance

Receivers are not just passive absorbers of messages; they receive the message and respond to them. This response of a receiver to sender’s message is called Feedback.

Sometimes a feedback could be a non-verbal smiles, sighs etc. Sometimes it is oral, as when you react to a colleague’s ideas with questions or comments. Feedback can also be written like - replying to an e-mail, etc.

Feedback is your audience’s response; it enables you to evaluate the effectiveness of your message. If your audience doesn’t understand what you mean, you can tell by the response and then refine the message accordingly.

Giving your audience a chance to provide feedback is crucial for maintaining an open communication climate. The manager must create an environment that encourages feedback. For example after explaining the job to the subordinated he/she must ask them whether they have understood it or not. The manager should ask questions like “Do you understand?”, “Do you have any doubts?” etc. At the same time he must allow his subordinated to express their views also.

Feedback is essential in communication so as to know whether the recipient has understood the message in the same terms as intended by the sender and whether he agrees to that message or not.

There are lot of ways in which company takes feedback from their employees, such as: Employee surveys, memos, emails, open-door policies, company news letter etc.

Employees are not always willing to provide feedback. The organization has to work a lot to get the accurate feedback. The managers encourage feedback by asking specific questions, allowing their employees to express general views, etc. The organization should be receptive to their employee’s feedback.

A manger should ensure that a feedback should:

  1. Focus on a particular behaviour - It should be specific rather than being general.

  2. Impersonal - Feedback should be job related, the manager should not criticize anyone personally.

  3. Goal oriented - If we have something negative to say about the person, we should always direct it to the recipients goal.

  4. Well timed - Feedback is most effective when there is a short gap between the recipients behaviour and the receipt of that feedback.

  5. Use “I” statements - Manager should make use of statements with the words like “I”, “However” etc. For example instead of saying”You were absent from work yesterday”, manager should say”I was annoyes when you missed your work yesterday”.

  6. Ensure understanding - For feedback to be effective, the manager should make sure that the recipients understands the feedback properly.

  7. While giving negative feedback to the recipient, the manager should not mention the factors which are not in control of the recipient.

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