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Using Feedback as a Tool

Role of the Project Manager | By Project Smart | Read time minutes

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As a project manager, it is essential 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 underutilised. It can motivate people, help with a person's 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.

Recommended read: Better Coaching Using the GROW Model, by Duncan Haughey.


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