Give and Take. One of the most simplified principles of physics. Energy, inertia and other terms help explain the physics principle but what about in business? What are some Give and Take principles for business?
Sharing Feedback (give) and Effective Listening (take) are the two I’ll be focusing on. Both can be very difficult to do but they are extremely important and don’t need to be stress inducing. Sharing feedback can make people feel uncomfortable for both the giver and the receiver and listening effectively can be challenging when you have so many other things on your mind.
Continue reading for some tips on how to do both with ease.
In order to share feedback there are some steps you should follow. Positive feedback can motivate others while constructive criticism can improve performance but only if it is offered in a way the receiver doesn’t feel like they are being attacked.
For feedback to be effective – the receiver has to welcome the feedback. With that said, we should all welcome feedback as in most cases it can bring improvement. Feedback should contain a balance of positive and constructive information. Identify what the problem is and how does it affect the project, work environment or others. Have the receiver suggest a solution by encouraging their input. Ask for feedback in return. Feedback should never be given with sarcasm or superior attitude but rather should be respectful.
When receiving feedback welcome the feedback as a path to improvement. Take responsibility by acknowledging the issue if necessary and offer a resolution. Clarify anything you are not sure about and negotiate the outcome if necessary.
It is estimated that we spend 80% of our waking hours communicating, or an average of 12.8 hours per day. We devote approximately 45% or 27 minutes per hour listening. But we only expend 7 minutes per hour effectively listening! So are we aren’t really effectively communicating and apparently we are just wasting our breath. The average work day is said to be spent communicating 65-75% of the time and 60% of that time is not effective. We can do better than that.
Here are some tips to effective listening:
• Don’t talk over the other person
• Make eye contact and keep your eyes focused
• Listen with intent, avoid filling in the blanks
• Listen with empathy (if applicable)
• Acknowledge key points
• Read non-verbal reactions to the communicators words
With a little effort we can all do better with our give and take communication skills and be more effective in all aspects of our lives. We can improve ourselves and help others to improve while our work and home environments benefit from our improved communication skills.
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