Communication 101

How Communication Feedback Improves Speaking Skills

June 10, 2022

No matter the industry and size of the company, effective communication is vital to creating a cohesive and engaging work environment. Communication is what allows you and your team members to share ideas, solve problems, and collaborate on projects.

It facilitates sales between employees and clients. Additionally, organizations use communication to express their values and grow support for their mission. 

Since communication is essential to every facet of business, identifying your areas of weakness can take your career to new heights. Keep reading to learn how communication feedback can benefit your speaking skills and career as a whole.

What Is Communication Feedback?

Communication feedback comes in many different forms and occurs between various parties. An executive can give managers feedback while managers speak with employees about their communication performance. Colleagues can give each other feedback, and an AI-powered communication coach like Poised will provide real-time communication feedback to anyone who uses it.

Generally speaking, communication feedback falls into one of two categories: strengths and weaknesses. Both are critical to any team that wants to grow and collaborate effectively. 

Examples of Strength-Focused Feedback

Here are a few examples of strength-focused feedback:

  • "You do a great job of listening to others. You are absorbing what others are saying, and you ask relevant questions during our meetings."
  • "You have an impressive knack for communicating clearly with those around you, even in stressful situations. For example, you guided the new intern through several problems on Wednesday even though it was your busiest day of the week."
  • "Thank you for bringing your concerns about the recent project to me. This organization thrives on open communication, and I feel comfortable knowing you will always provide honest feedback that can help us improve."

Examples of Weaknesses-Focused Feedback

Now, let's take a look at what weakness-focused feedback might look like:

  • "You often provide constructive input during team meetings, and I want you to know that I appreciate that. But I would also like you to allow more room for your colleagues to speak and share ideas. That way, everyone feels included and heard, and your team members will see that you care about what they have to say."
  • "You're an excellent communicator, but it seems that your skills decline when you get overly busy or stressed. The next time you feel that way, I'd like you to reach out to me for some relaxation tips or request a short break."
  • "We've received feedback that some of your emails to clients are hard to understand. Could you make sure that you read through your messages before sending them? I personally use a grammar checker plug-in to minimize errors and typos."

Who Can Benefit From Communication Feedback?

Whether you’re providing feedback that focuses on strengths or weaknesses, it can significantly benefit the recipient if it's constructive. In other words, avoid giving purely negative feedback.

If you need a team member to improve their communication skills, frame your feedback positively and respectfully. Never use negative feedback out of frustration. If your praise or criticism isn't constructive, there's no point in giving it.

Each relationship in the workplace comes with its own dynamics, meaning your feedback should depend on the specific individual and situation. However, it’s generally best to link a team member's positive or negative behavior to the overarching mission of your organization. 

Also, try to provide feedback shortly after the specific event that calls for feedback to be fresh on your and your team members' minds. Moreover, try to be as detailed as possible when providing communication feedback to encourage the recipient to continue what they’re doing well or improve in their areas of weakness.

It's also important to consider that delivering positive or negative feedback too often can strip the feedback of its meaning or severely damage working relationships. Find ways to regularly encourage and guide your team members, but reserve positive feedback and constructive criticism for special moments.

Let's look at how communication feedback can benefit employers, recruiters, and sales workers:

Communication Feedback for Employers

Effective leadership relies on communication. Providing and receiving feedback is vital when leading a team and pursuing organizational goals. Healthy communication feedback will keep everyone engaged because your team will feel like you care about their success and opinions. Requesting feedback from your team members also shows humility, which will go a long way in building rapport.

Positive feedback, and even constructive criticism, can motivate leaders and employees to collaborate and persevere through challenges. Though you will likely give more feedback than you receive as a leader, asking for feedback from your team can reveal areas of weakness (and strengths) to consider. Ultimately, it can help you lead better.

Communication Feedback for Recruiters

Recruitment is a critical part of any company, and the entire recruitment process depends on effective communication strategies. One way to improve candidate engagement and build a positive reputation in the industry is to create a feedback exchange loop for your recruiters.

Request feedback from interviewed applicants about the moments of the recruitment process they enjoyed and the challenges they encountered. Doing so can reveal productive changes your team can make to boost the recruitment experience for current and future candidates. Insight from your feedback loop can also help you reduce the number of applicants who withdraw applications.

Moreover, be sure to give candidates actionable feedback on how they can increase their marketability for employment. Help them identify the strengths they should cultivate and the areas of weakness they should seek to improve for future pursuits.

Communication Feedback for Sales Workers

Closing sales is all about demonstrating value to your prospects. To do that, you must understand consumer problems and develop a strategy for solving them. One of the best ways to accomplish that is to get feedback on how your sales workers communicate with potential customers.

Being respectful, concise, and clear can take you far in sales. In addition, you also must determine the communication style your prospects prefer. You must find out how they learn about what they care about and the communication channels they like so you can adjust your strategy accordingly. 

Be sure to pay attention to what your prospects are saying and actively listen during meetings and pitches. Furthermore, don't be afraid to request feedback on how your team could improve its sales process, whether through surveys or asking the prospects directly.

5 Ways Communication Feedback Improves Your Speaking Skills

Constructive feedback can do wonders for sharpening your speaking skills.

Here's a brief look at five benefits of feedback:

1. Know When You’re Talking Too Fast or Slow

Speaking too fast or slowly will negatively impact how your audience connects with your message. Many of us ramble when we get nervous, and it can be challenging for listeners to absorb the key points of your message when you're talking too fast.

If you ramble, it makes it difficult for listeners to stay focused on the crux of your message. On the other hand, talking too slowly can be just as harmful because it makes active listening a chore. 

Don't hesitate to ask for honest feedback from your colleagues, customers, and anyone else you’re communicating with. As you make the necessary changes to speak at an appropriate pace, you'll notice that you can grab and keep your audience's attention.

2. Find and Eliminate Filler Words

Nervousness can also increase the filler words we use when speaking. While it's normal for a presentation to include some fillers, too many of these meaningless words can cloud your message and make you come across as an incompetent communicator. 

Regularly seek feedback and record yourself speaking to identify your most common filler words. Then, start removing them from your speech! Software like Poised can also help you find and eliminate the filler words hindering your virtual communication.

3. Become an Active Listener

You can't have clear communication without active listening. While we endeavor to improve as communicators, focusing too much on our own skills can prevent us from listening and responding to team members' ideas and expressions.

Ask your leaders and colleagues how they perceive your active listening skills, and try to make adjustments with each meeting and event.

4. Optimize Your Non-Verbal Communication

It's easy to put most of your emphasis on verbal messages, but remember that non-verbal cues are crucial to effective communication. Be aware of your body language and tone of voice, and ask your peers how you can improve in those areas. You might be surprised by how much engaging non-verbal cues can enhance your messages and presentations.

Communication AI like Poised can discreetly inform you of your posture, facial expressions, and even eye contact during on-camera virtual meetings.

5. Improve Your Eye Contact

Finally, making and maintaining eye contact with your listeners can significantly improve engagement and build rapport with your colleagues. Whether you're speaking or listening, connect with your peers by keeping eye contact, and request feedback on how you're doing in that area. 

Take Your On-Screen Communication Up a Notch

All of the principles above apply to in-person and virtual communication. But if you're like most professionals, you increasingly rely on technology to collaborate and communicate with your peers, leaders, and stakeholders. 

Don't ever get too comfortable with your communication abilities. Constantly seek feedback on how you can nourish your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses. Use Poised to take your on-screen meetings and presentations to the next level.

Sources:

The Power of Positive Feedback | U.S. Office of Personnel Management

The Role of Feedback In Leadership | Forbes

10 Ways To Improve Customer Communication To Make More Sales | Small Business Trends

10 Steps To Effective Listening | Forbes


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