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Feedback Foibles

Whether positive or negative, feedback can be a difficult message to deliver - and in business the precise style of delivery must be handled with care. This may be feedback you deliver when reviewing a potential role or relaying your impressions after an interview, and will certainly be something you expect to receive from the interviewer.

At each interview stage feedback is essential. It enables you to stamp out any question marks before moving forward and building on the strengths which you already possess, therefore it is key to take any feedback onboard wholeheartedly to learn from and develop. Joel Peterson, Chairman of JetBlue Airways classifies feedback as "the breakfast of champions", an essential tool which, if executed correctly, can transform an organisation. So why do many companies still not offer training on this form of best practice? Constructive and well-worded feedback is vital to success as you move between each echelon in your career path, and will enable you to impart tips and tricks to those supporting you along the way, illustrating the value you are able to add.

Peterson offers a few words of wisdom with regards to the best approach. As with most things, practice makes perfect and it’s important to be as prepared as possible when relaying feedback - don’t be tempted to "wing it". Lean towards the positives and congratulate on the successes, not forgetting to impart guidance on those areas in need of improvement.

Peterson believes feedback should be seen as a "gift" - a valuable tool to build a good team and business, and therefore it’s an integral part of any recruitment process for all involved. Unresponsiveness and a lack of feedback can have a negative ripple effect with individuals, resulting in them deciding to focus their efforts elsewhere.  Etiquette may be imperative for candidates during the interview process, but the same applies for hiring managers and this starts with feedback.