How to receive feedback - graciously!

Posted on November 01, 2018 at 09:27 AM

giving feedbackReceiving feedback - whether it's positive or not-so-positive - can be hard to do. 

You can feel a range of emotions whether it's praise your getting or less than praise. 

To help view, receive and take on board all feedback - and to do this with grace - we've pulled together seven simple rules. 

#1 Seek understanding

Be prepared to ask questions to clarify - or to ask for examples. Find out how the feedback came about. Paraphrase to check your own understanding, and reflect back. 

#2 Don't be defensive as you listen

Focus on the facts. Don't get caught up in your feelings. Openly discuss your thoughts and feelings – what’s your reaction to the feedback?

#3 Consider the positive intention behind the feedback

Ask yourself, why is this person telling you this? How can this help you increase your self-awareness? What could happen if you hadn't have been given this feedback? 

#4 Explore any differences in perception

Does what is being fed back to you match up with other feedback you have had? How does it (honestly) compare to your own views of your performance or behaviour? If there are difference, how might these differences have arisen? Remember you are learning about how what you do and how you behave is being interpreted and seen by your colleagues, co-workers or customers.

#5 Be approachable

People will steer clear of offering feedback if they sense that you will dismiss it or become defensive. Embrace all feedback offered.

#6 Try to show your appreciation 

May not be top of the list of things you are thinking about during feedback, but do try to show your appreciation to the person giving the feedback. After all, you are getting valuable feedback and all feedback will help you develop and learn.

#7 Reflect

After the feedback has been given, allow yourself some time to reflect on what's been said. If you have any questions at a later stage, go back and reopen the discussion. 

Bear these 7 areas in mind next time you are on the receiving end of feedback - and share this with those who are getting feedback for whatever reason.

If you'd like to know more about giving - and receiving - feedback effectively, then get in touch with us.

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