Practical Tips for Receiving Personal Feedback in the Workplace

Posted on: April 2nd, 2013 by mfzMaster No Comments
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Practical Tips for Receiving Personal Feedback in the Workplace

There are lots of places you can find advice on how to give personal feedback to other people, especially from a management perspective, but very few will be offering advice on how to receive feedback.

Despite it being a daunting task for both parties, the receiver is often the forgotten person in the process. While the advice given to the person dispensing the feedback is generally centered on how to make the feedback positive, action-oriented and non-personal, there’s little consideration given to the receiver and how they should react to get the most from the process.

Receiving feedback can be a valuable learning experience, giving you an insight into how others perceive you and your behaviors, so how should you react or behave while getting the feedback to ensure you take away the maximum possible learning?

Firstly, if you are receiving the feedback, you need to listen. If you’re practiced in active listening then you could use the technique to demonstrate to the other person that you’re really taking in the information. If you’re not practiced in active listening, don’t worry, just concentrate on what they are saying and your body language will let the other person know that you’re engaged. Don’t be afraid to check your understanding of what you’re hearing as you go along. You can do this by asking the other person if they mind if you summaries things so far in your own words. This is another effective method of demonstrating that you’ve listened and understood.

Although you may feel an urge to be defensive, try your hardest not to be. Remember the feedback is generally intended for your benefit and becoming defensive may reduce the conversation to a debate rather than the learning opportunity it should be.

Actively seeking feedback is a way of learning about yourself and about ways of improving your own performance and interactions with others, so don’t be afraid to ask for feedback either, especially from those people you deal with most often.

Try and acknowledge the effort taken to give you the feedback. If you’ve ever done it yourself, you’ll know that giving feedback, especially critical feedback, can be an unnerving and uncomfortable experience for the giver as much as the receiver.

Remember that feedback is exactly that – feeding back information. You can and should choose what to act upon and what ultimately to change, if anything, about your behavior based upon what you’re being told and what you learn about yourself.

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