Feedback in Active Listening

Definition of Feedback

Feedback is a key component of active listening. Feedback can be a corrective mechanism for helping an individual learn how well his or her behavior matches the original intention. It can also be a means of establishing one's identity.

Feedback helps another person to consider changing behavior or altering a message. It is communication with a person (group) that gives that person information about how he or she affects others. Feedback helps an individual stay "on target" and thus better achieve a goal or purpose.

An active listener must be solicited for a response by the sender and must refrain from imposing uninvited responses. Feedback is most useful when the sender asks for response by formulating a question that a listener can answer.


Tips for Providing Feedback

Here are some "tips" that will help you respond appropriately during active listening. In general, you should use language that:


Other ways of responding appropriately relate to the verbs you choose in your response. For example:

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