Tips On Receiving Feedback In The Workplace

October 13, 2021 Off By John Williams

96% of employees want to hear feedback regularly, but only 58% of managers think they give enough feedback. It’s obvious that the supply is not meeting the demand in terms of employees receiving enough feedback. Therefore, when employees do receive feedback, they need to be able to get the most out of it. Due to the lack of feedback at some organizations, may find receiving feedback challenging or scary. Some employees, even if the feedback is fair and future-focused, find it tough to hear they have things to improve on.

This article outlines some effective tips on how to best receive feedback to ensure career growth and success.

1) Pre-review yourself

If you know you are going to receive feedback from someone in the organization, make sure you are prepared. Many employees view feedback as negative because they think that feedback is pointing out something they are doing wrong. If you come prepared with examples of your performance review you can outline what you think your strengths are and touch on how you plan to improve your weaknesses to make feedback and performance reviews less scary.

2) Actively listen to the feedback

Might be the obvious point but some find it the most challenging. For feedback to be effective, the receivers must truly listen and register the feedback. It is important to remember that the person giving you feedback is taking time out of their day to help with your performance development. Make sure you are providing your full attention and that distractions are not getting in the way. Additionally, try to avoid getting defensive. If you are concentrating and absorbing their insight and not immediately getting defensive, you will be able to comprehend their reasoning and better understand where you can better improve to be successful. Provide them the time they are offering and after they have finished giving the feedback, you can give your opinion on the feedback you have received.

3) Ask lots of questions

Feedback can be miscommunicated or not taken the right way. By asking questions about the feedback, you have received you can avoid any confusion and be able to clarify any information or doubts you have. Again, don’t get defensive, just simply ask for more examples or clarification to their feedback. Some examples of questions to feedback include:

  • “When you mentioned that I was not clear enough to the team when stating my proposal, did you want further detail within my presentation or a more in-depth summary?”
  • “You mentioned that I disregarded a team member’s opinion in our team meeting, next time would you suggest waiting to hear everyone’s opinion before inserting myself in the conversation to better include everyone?”

4) Voice your appreciation

Feedback is not easy to receive, but it is still a challenge to provide feedback. In fact, 44% of managers believed that giving developmental feedback was stressful and/or difficult, and 21% of managers admitted that they avoided giving developmental feedback. If you want to continue to develop your skills or advance in your career, you are going to need feedback along the way. Take the time to acknowledge the person who is giving you feedback. It can encourage them to continue helping you develop. Additionally, if you notice that someone is giving you effective feedback, don’t be afraid to give them their own feedback. Feedback is a two-way street and chances are they will appreciate that someone is thinking about how they could improve as well. More than often, feedback is positive. Therefore, if someone is recognizing your job well done on a project or during a team meeting, make sure to thank them for recognizing you. This can help create a recognition program or culture within your organization.

5) Decide your plan of action

What happens after you receive the feedback is arguable the most important step. Document your feedback (whether that be using a 360 feedback software or by paper), and come back to it often to track your performance. Whether it be working on communication, presentation skills, or increasing your engagement, come up with a step-by-step plan and create some new goals for yourself to meet before your next performance review. You can always ask your manager or colleague to help you create a list of actionable steps to take to improve. If you feel like you don’t have enough feedback to decide the right plan of action to improve, never be scared to ask for more.

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