When was the last time you received feedback? And how good are you at receiving feedback? I facilitate a lot of coaching workshops for corporate leaders. There is always a component on how to provide feedback to direct reports. This can cover many familiar concepts, such as ‘be specific’ and ‘be timely with your feedback’.
Many organizations teach their managers how to provide feedback. However, one of the biggest fears I hear from managers is what if their reports don’t like the feedback, resist it or even push back and get angry. While this may not be the most common response it does happen and it can be challenging. From the perspective of the employee receiving the feedback this is no picnic either.
Here are a few tips for receiving feedback:
- Don’t respond immediately to what you are hearing
- Ask questions about the feedback and be curious
- Try not to be defensive
- If you are not sure about the feedback you have received, seek feedback from others (and not just people who will agree with you)
- Know that sometimes the feedback you receive is about you and sometimes it is about the person providing the feedback
The best way to get better at receiving feedback and to improve this in your culture is to practice. Feedback shouldn’t be an annual event.
Provide and seek out feedback regularly!
Well… so as to avoid the irony…
Feedback – yes – as a teacher that is an important area – and one I still am getting used to. What I do is note any little thing that nips or nags at me when I look at something and then mention it. Otherwise it tends to just be praise.
Feedback is for me the holey grail – and I think perhaps people know that and therefore don’t give me any. Years of blogging and providing space for feedback and I hardly get a comment. I created a tool called Comment Right at http://commentright.org for this purpose to try and help people give and get feedback.
Great post on feedback. I also notice that feedback sometimes feels like it should be “negative” or acknowledgment of problems. Sometimes people really just need to hear that what they are doing is working, going well and they are performing to company standards. Saying nothing when things are going well gives extra weight to the negative…