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‘Complete Feedback Skills Training Book’ by Sue Bishop


Title: The Complete Feedback Skills Training Book.
Authors: Sue Bishop
Publisher: Gower Publishing Limited, Gower House, Croft Road, Aldershot, Hampshire GU11 3HR
Price: £65.00.
ISBN: 0 56608218 7
Publication: 28-02-00

This book is a brave attempt to provide managers with the skills they require in provide effective feedback to their people, whilst at the same time providing a manual to assist trainers in developing those self-same skills.

The book is split into two clear sections, the first called "feedback principles" is concerned with identifying and developing basic skills in the area. These skills include learning how to listen and question, accept or reject feedback, learning from role models, and building and maintaining rapport. The second section-applications- is concerned with applying these skills in a variety of commonplace situations. These include one to one situations such as appraisal, counselling, correction and coaching as well as group situations such as meetings and working with teams.

Appraisals are fully dealt with both in terms of giving and receiving. The chapter I found most useful focused on that most troublesome of situations the telephone conversation. Good clear advice is given to counteract the lack of non-verbal feedback.

Each chapter follows the same basic format. Firstly and introduction covering the importance of the topic. Then there are instructions on exercises for the individual using the book as a self-help guide. This is followed by instructions for group exercises to be used by trainers working with groups. Each chapter concludes with the resources to be used either by the individual or the training group. These of course are freely available to photocopy. It is in the format that the greatest weaknesses of this by enlarge excellent book lies; would Sue Bishop have been better concentrating either on a self-development book or on a trainer’s handbook?

My other criticisms of this book are quite minor. On more than one occasion an activity is half explained and then the reader is referred elsewhere for a full explanation, not the end of the world but irritating never the less. Finally if one were to read this book you would believe that feedback is always verbal, a section on written feedback could have been usefully included.

Despite the reservations above this is a well-written and informative book. If you are involved in giving feedback or training those that are this book is worth investigating.

Patric Devitt
Psynergy consulting
[email protected]


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