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Book Review

The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback

by Shirley Poertner & Karen Massetti Miller

If you are in search of a practical how-to guide regarding feedback this book will meet your demands. Organizations weave a complex web of infrastructures making feedback a difficult aspect of a managers growing list of responsibilities. Poertner and Massetti-Miller have taken a "back to the basics" approach in writing this book and avoid the buzzwords like 360-degree feedback and opt for a how to practical guide regarding feedback.

The information discussed provides the reader with self-assessment and goal setting activities in order to better relate with the topics discussed. The self-assessment opens the door to a wide variety of topics that will make feedback easier to give and receive. There are many helpful diagrams and examples relating to common workplace feedback situations that help relate the material to the "real world."

The book will take you through the necessary steps to effectively give and receive feedback. A brief outline of the chapters is as follows:

Chapter 1: The Power of Feedback *Definitions, characteristics, and an explanation of ineffective types of feedback.

Chapter 2: Useful Feedback is Detailed Feedback *Identifies the importance, features, and the roles of those who are giving and receiving detailed feedback.

Chapter 3: Planning Effective Feedback *Explores the importance of planning feedback and helps develop a plan to prepare detailed feedback.

Chapter 4: Steps for Giving Effective Feedback *Provides the who, what, when, where, and how information. Discusses reinforcement and how to get past defensiveness and a host of other useful information regarding the delivery of effective feedback.

Chapter 5: Steps for Receiving Feedback Effectively *An important chapter that explains the importance of not only talking but listening as well. An important aspect of feedback often overlooked.

Chapter 6: Feedback and Communication Styles *Identifies and explains the different aspects of how people communicate and offers insight on how to deal with different styles of communicators.

Chapter 7: Handling Difficult Feedback Situations *Not all feedback is good and this chapter deals with the bad. There are many practical ideas offered that help shape the feedback situation.

Chapter 8: Developing Your Feedback Skills *As this is the final chapter there is a section that deals with the need to reassess current feedback skills. Also outlined is a tutorial that will help create an action plan to help develop better feedback skills.