To complete communication, the listener must give the speaker verbal or nonverbal feedback. Your feedback can be anything from a comment to a gesture. A Houston Translation Services offered this example, if your customer complains of receiving late shipments, your feedback is to deliver promptly. That way, the customer knows you’ve understood the message. In turn, the satisfied customer gives you positive feedback by placing more orders.
Through feedback, a French Translator in Washington D.C. suggests that listeners can modify a speaker’s message and behavior. Say you’re giving a presentation to a group of clients. As you look around the conference table, you see Sheila Birch doodling, George Dunn yawning, Jennifer Grant reading, and Jean Smith dozing. Obviously, it’s time you either change your approach or forget about selling them your product.
Feedback therefore allows the speaker to modify, change, or explain a message to ensure the listener deciphers it correctly. The listener can ask questions to indicate confusion or to help clarify a point. Or as listener, you can simply nod or smile to indicate understanding and acceptance.
Often, as in a conversation, no clear division exists between your role as listener or speaker. You change roles repeatedly, constantly giving or expecting feedback.