Receiving feedback can be a very positive or extremely negative experience depending on the skills and experience of the giver!
Nevertheless, even someone who delivers feedback badly probably has a valid reason for giving it in the first place and therefore you should listen to it. To help manage your own emotions and help the person to give you more feedback the following tips will help you (and them!).
- Ask the other person to describe what they observed. It is important that you are not receiving feedback from a third party.
- Ask the other person for the specifics behind their feedback. What was it they saw/heard? When did it happen? How often have they seen it? Who else was involved? These questions should be asked in the spirit of understanding the feedback as opposed to being overly defensive. Encourage the other person to keep to the facts (rather than their own opinions) will be less emotive and help you to fully understand their position.
- Ask the other person what they thought the consequences of your actions were. This will help you to understand “why” you need to change. If your behaviours are negatively impacting others you need to know.
- Don’t dismiss the feedback or make excuses like “well I was really tired that day” or “I have been incredibly busy”.
- Discuss what actions the other person would like you to take. What are their thoughts and views about what you could do differently? Would you like them to give you some further feedback after you have tried doing things differently?
- Finally, thank the other person for the feedback they have given you.
As stated earlier, receiving feedback can be quite a negative experience, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Our Giving and Receiving Feedback in House Training Course will enable delegates to:
- Give feedback to others (boss peers, and subordinates) in a productive and effective way.
- Receive feedback from others, judge its validity and make desions about what to do with the feedback.
- Use feedback skills to improve relationships.
By following the above tips you will enable the other person to provide you with clear and effective feedback. You may even wish to give them some feedback on how effective their feedback was!