Feedback is one of the best types of communication you can have if done properly; but the problem is that most people confuse feedback with criticism, friendly advice or expressing their own opinion. Some people consider them as a form of feedback but they lack some of the elements that make feedback the important tool that it is.
Irrespective of whether you offer or you receive feedback, there are a few basic things you have to take into consideration if you want it to have the desired effect.
First of all, feedback is always positive. Most people refuse to ask or receive feedback because they are afraid of criticism. Feedback is not criticism. You have to understand this while giving but also while receiving feedback.
Feedback is always constructive. Even if the end goal is to eliminate some negative aspects, it won’t count for the removal of the unwanted element but for its transformation into something useful, something better.
Relevance is another thing you have to take into account. Feedback only focuses on important aspects that matter the most. Everything else is brainstorming, chatting, debating or just talking. Feedback has a clear purpose.
But above all, feedback is about action. Your goal is to motivate, to change, to improve something. Set your goals clearly before you start offering feedback and center your discussion around that.
Feedback is one of the best way to improve. Take advantage of it.