Effective Communication Through Two-way Feedback

With any person-to-person interaction, there is an opportunity to give feedback. Feedback is important in generating the results that we need to be successful, especially in the workplace where the main objective of feedback is to strengthen progress towards objectives and goals.  This can be achieved by providing genuine constructive and encouraging feedback to the recipient.

In the workplace, managers recognize that employees need continuous feedback to improve and be successful in their position. However, many managers provide this feedback without a clear and effective way of doing so. One of the most common mistakes made by managers when offering feedback, or attempting to communicate constructive criticism, is turning it into a one-way dialogue – feedback delivered by the manager to the employee only. The problem with this is that the employee finds him or herself with no opportunity to respond and express their own comments and concerns.

Feedback must be a two-way conversation. Here are 4 easy steps managers can use to create an effective two-way feedback conversation with employees:

  1. Ask the employee what he/she did well. Encourage them to elaborate in detail.
  2. You (the manager) add feedback to what the employee did well. Include examples.
  3. Ask the employee what he/she will do differently next time. Use this opportunity for the employee to set their own goals.
  4. The manager constructively suggests what he/she should do differently next time, and provides advice for developing objectives that will help the employee achieve their goals.

Steps one and two are good for building confidence in the employee. Steps three and four are good for building employees’ skills through goal setting. All four steps create a confident, goal-oriented, and engaged employee.

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