10 Examples for Leaders to Give Feedback on Communication Skills

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 19 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Communication skills are important in keeping a work environment cohesive, as they allow you to collaborate with your team members and share your ideas and insights with them. Sometimes, you may want to give your team members or subordinates feedback on their communication skills. Understanding the importance of providing other employees with feedback on these skills and how to do so can help you and your colleagues grow further as professionals. In this article, we define what communication skills are and share some examples of feedback on communication skills you can use.

Related: What Is Interpersonal Communication and Why Is It Important?

10 examples of feedback on communication skills

Learning about feedback on communication skills can help you when you give a performance review to your colleagues or subordinates. This feedback can help them improve their face-to-face interactions and virtual communications via phone calls, emails and direct messages. Some examples of communication skills you can provide feedback on include active listening, presentation skills, emotional intelligence, confidence, empathy, respect, open-mindedness and body language. Here are examples you can review:

Example 1

Here's an example of giving positive feedback to a team member:

'I appreciate your candour and your ability to take the time to listen to others when sharing their ideas. Whenever I'm speaking to you during our meetings, I can tell that you're listening and processing what I'm saying so that you can continue the conversation properly. The questions you ask during our client meetings also prove that you have a deep understanding of what our clients are sharing and that you're eager to share your ideas with them.'

Related: 47 Useful Performance Review Phrases By Skills (With Examples)

Example 2

Here's an example of how you give positive feedback to a team member on communicating digitally:

'With everything going digital, I know that we complete a lot of our work on computers rather than face-to-face. This makes communication important for us to be productive. Over the past two years, I've been very proud of you for how perfectly you've adapted to using various digital forms of communication. Reading your emails and instant messages is like speaking to you in person, as you're always very clear and concise in the message you're trying to convey. Your messages are always very helpful to me.'

Example 3

Here's an example of giving positive feedback to a subordinate about active listening:

'I think you have very strong communication skills, and that's something that I appreciate about you. For example, I notice that you often share useful insights during our weekly team meetings while listening attentively when other members of the team share theirs. I'm proud of you for helping to make our meetings feel productive and making your colleagues feel important.'

Example 4

Here's an example of feedback you can give to a team member when they've taken the initiative to communicate with their own team when necessary:

'I'm very proud of your ability to communicate clearly with your clients and teammates no matter how tough a situation is. I remember a time last year when I was too busy to guide our intern, so you stepped up and took on the task. Our intern asked you a lot of questions throughout the week, and despite being busy with your own tasks, you stayed patient with them and guided them through all their duties. I can tell they appreciated your help and learnt a lot from you during that week.'

Related: What Is Leadership Communication? (Definition and Examples)

Example 5

Here's an example of giving feedback to a team member on how they can improve their communication skills:

'I noticed that when we're having any weekly team meetings to update each other about our progress in any current projects, you're not afraid to ask questions on issues that you're not clear about. Having the habit to clarify things during our meetings is a good one because it helps you to be very clear on any deliverables you're required to complete so that you can complete your projects accurately and without any mistakes.'

Related: Verbal Communication Examples (With Benefits and Tips)

Example 6

Learn from this example on how you can give feedback to a team member to improve their active listening skills:

'While I appreciate you providing input during team meetings, I'd like you to focus on giving other team members the opportunity to share their ideas too. It's always important to show others that you're listening to them by nodding your head, taking notes and making eye contact with them. Asking them follow-up questions can also allow them to expand upon their ideas, and it's also a good way for you to be more analytical. If everyone has the chance to speak, our group meetings can be more inclusive, productive and efficient.'

Example 7

Here's an example of giving feedback to a team member on their empathy skills:

'I've noticed that you've been posting some negative things about colleagues on social media. At Northstar Alliance, we believe that the privacy of our employees is a top priority, so I would appreciate it if you kept any grievances and internal communications private. You could consider approaching these colleagues directly to resolve any conflicts you may have. I try my best to create a work environment that is trustworthy and open, so it's important to be respectful of our company and its employees, especially on social media.'

Example 8

Here's an example of giving feedback to a subordinate regarding their ways of communicating while going through stress in the workplace:

'Everyone deals with stress differently. When you're stressed due to tight deadlines, I've noticed that this affects your communication skills. If you're feeling overwhelmed, I'd appreciate you communicating this to me rather than feeling frustrated, as this can affect your professionalism. To deal with the stress, you could use deep breathing exercises to help you calm down. I also suggest that you take a coffee break or try relaxing for a few minutes when you feel overwhelmed. Knowing how to calm down during periods of stress can help you communicate effectively in the workplace.'

Example 9

Here's an example of giving a team member feedback regarding being tactful while communicating with others:

'I think you have a great sense of humour that all our colleagues enjoy, especially during stressful periods. While using humour is a good way to diffuse tense situations, I want to encourage you to try to be more empathetic towards others when you're making a joke or a funny comment. It's important that you realise that everyone has different life experiences and levels of sensitivity.'

Example 10

Here's an example of how you can provide feedback to a team member who has challenges communicating with their team:

'Recently, I've noticed that you tend to keep quiet during our team meetings and submit work that contains a few mistakes that could've been avoided if you clarified them during the meetings. While I understand that you want to give our teammates time to speak and not interrupt them, it's also important to speak up if you don't understand any issues or require more information. This can also help you to complete your work and have a clearer idea of deliverables that you're submitting to them.'

Related: 10 Helpful Tips for Communication Skills in the Workplace

Why is giving feedback on communication skills important?

Giving team members regular feedback regarding their communication skills during performance reviews is useful for the following reasons:

It helps employees set goals

Whenever you help a team member improve their communication skills, you can also use your feedback sessions with them to help them develop their professional and personal goals. Make use of each meeting to guide them through defining their goals. They can then plan how to reach their goals while improving their communication skills.

Related: How to Set Personal Development Goals (Plus Benefits and Tips)

It builds personal awareness

When you provide feedback to a team member regarding their communication skills, it can help them become more aware of themselves and the people around them. A performance review is a good opportunity to identify your team member's strengths while also pointing out their weaknesses in a constructive way. When your team members become more self-aware, they can regulate how they communicate with each other, which allows them to form better working relationships and better teamwork with each other.

Related: How to Improve Communication Skills (With Definition and Examples)

It develops a sense of accountability

Accountability is an important trait for all professionals. When you discuss a team member's communication skills with them and provide feedback, it lets them know that you're supporting them and overseeing how they perform. After having a discussion with them, they may have a better idea of what you expect from them and how they can improve their communication skills. Developing a sense of accountability in your colleagues also helps them submit their deliverables before the deadline.

Related: 4 Types of Communication

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