Feedback--whether it is given or received--can be carried out most effectively by using the four communication skills described above. Here are some examples. Paraphrasing: "Did I understand you to say that you do not agree with the current pan?" Behavior description: "This is the third time you've asked that. Can you say more about your question?" Describing own feelings: "I felt antagonistic toward your laughing." Perception -checking: "You seem to feel very strongly abou the point you were making."
Some rules for effective feedback are useful. It should be given with the following guidelines in mind:
- Noncoercive. Feedback should be given so that it dows not demand that the recipient change his behavior.
- Consideration. Feedback should be given after a careful assessment has been made of the feelings of the recipients. This does not mean you should avoid showing anger (for example) to the other. It means the other should be ready to deal productively with it. Sometimes the giver of feedback will have to wait for a time when he is able to present his feelings clearly and the other is ready to listen.
- Descriptive. Feedback should involve a clear report of the facts rather than the reasons why things happened as they did.
- Recency. Feedback should be given close to the time of the events causing reaction.
- Changeability. Feedback should be given about behavior that can be changed. For example, it is not very helpful to tell some that the color of his eyes bothers you.