chapter  9
20 Pages

Evaluate Feedback for Continued Success

At its most basic level, feedback is crucial to any kind of improvement, and communication is no exception. While positive feedback is nice-we all love a compliment-it’s usually the negative feedback that helps us the most. Despite people saying, “I always welcome your feedback,” most of us need to work to overcome the “feedback hurts” mentality. Of course, it isn’t always pleasant to hear negative comments about what we are doing. Sometimes our feelings get hurt, our ego is wounded, or the feedback strikes us as, well, stupid. That said, let’s consider a shift in our perspective. Try this: think about feedback as a form of coaching. When we work with a coach, he or she is constantly giving us negative feedback-and we appreciate it. A golf coach, for example, will correct the way you hold or swing the club, and you’re delighted to get the negative feedback. In fact, you pay for all these “criticisms.” There is no positive change without negative feedback. We know we need feedback (which often takes the form of criticism) to improve our performance. It makes us better at what we are learning to do. Better communication skills are all about constant learning, and those

When you have completed this chapter, you should be able to:

■ Recognize the importance of feedback in the process of improving communication skills.