While re-organizing one of my file drawers where I keep a folder labeled ‘favorite articles’ I started reading an article on feedback was in the ‘favorite articles’ folder.
Below are some of the points that the article introduced and some of my own experiences as it relates to receiving and accepting feedback.
1. Seek feedback on a regular basis, especially after you have identified any unmet development goals.
Exchanging information and perceptions is a process, not a single event.
2. Receive feedback as if it is a gift that provides you with honest information about your perceived behavior and performance. Be open to what you will hear.
3. Let the person finish what he/ she is saying – do not interrupt.
4. Try to paraphrase what you are being told, either back to the person providing the feedback or in your own mind.
5. Be sure to ask clarifying questions.
6. Ask for specifics, if it is not provided.
7. Ask the person to give you examples as it relates to your behavior and presence.
8. At all times, monitor your nonverbal and emotional responses.
9. Always thank the person for their helpful input.
10. Take the time after the feedback interaction to evaluate the information and consider specific actions for improvements.
11. Teach yourself to recognize situations in which a certain behavior needs to be altered.
Feedback can help you self-monitor your behavior at times when you are less than optimally effective.
12. Use feedback to clarify your intentions (goals), track progress toward those intentions, and to improve the effectiveness of your behaviors over a period of time.
Below you will find the don’ts for receiving and accepting feedback.
13. Take it personally.
14. Become defensive or explain your behavior. (You can either spend your time mobilizing your defenses or you can spend your time listening).
Remember, defending your actions is counterproductive, where listening is extremely useful.)
15. Make sure that you do not interrupt the person providing the feedback.
16. Don’t be afraid to allow pauses and periods of silence when you receive feedback.
This gives you time to understand what is being said and it gives the other person time to think about what they are saying.
17. Ask the person to defend his/ her opinion (there is a difference between ‘defending’ and ‘explaining’).
Feedback is purely subjective perceptions of information. You can place your own value on it later.
18. Don’t make excuses or try to explain your behavior.
Let’s take it one step further, below you will find the three main forms of feedback:
1. Summarizing: allows thought collection on both sides, develops control, and allows for objections and misunderstandings to be clarified:
– Let me summarize our discussion so far.
– Let me summarize what I have just said.
2. Clarifying: demonstrates your good intentions, should show that you are listening, shows interest and allows for correction:
– Would I be right in thinking that…?
– What you seem to be saying is…?
– Do you therefore feel that…?
3. Interpreting: trying to express what you think the other person is trying to say or express the feelings that lie behind the facts:
– Would it be true to say that you do not get along well with X?
When you receive and accept feedback, or if you are providing the feedback, be sure to summarize, clarify and interpret what has been provided and then apply it for short- and long-term success.© Copyright 2013 Laureen Wishom