Communication is very different in different cultures. I experienced this very clearly in Romania where groups often got into passionate debates in which participants kept interrupting each other.

It was enlightening for some managers to focus on the basic meaning of the word “dialog” and what they could learn from that: Developing meaning by using words in a step by step manner, each person taking a turn to speak while the others listen respectfully. The wonderful effect: Even in the fast world of IT, the managers’ dialog slowed down to let people really listen, come to an understanding together and learn to develop solutions.

In a team development workshop I learned: Feedback is a labor of love. That may sound over the top but it’s not. Giving feedback is an act of kindness to yourself and to others.

The most important thing about giving feedback is your attitude: open-mindedness, appreciation for others and how you give feedback. Feedback is not just saying “That’s great!” or “I don’t like that.” Giving real feedback means sharing careful observations as well as pointing out effects, consequences and perhaps a suggestion or two.