THURSDAY THOUGHTS! - Giving and Receiving Feedback - Part 2

Posted by | December 06, 2012 | Thursday Thoughts | No Comments

Last week, we started looking at simple steps to perfect the art of both giving and receiving feedback.  Getting it wrong, either way, is not worth thinking about. So this week we put ourselves in the shoes of being the receiver and we discuss:

“How will we respond to feedback in the future? 

First and foremost, feedback is NOT disapproval, criticism or a personal attack.  It should be given for improvement purposes.  It should be both constructive and consistent, offered by someone in an informed position, and then it can be useful.  Therefore, it should be focussed on those things that you do which impact on others and goes to the route of your personal effectiveness in this respect.

I don’t know one single soul who wouldn’t find critical feedback difficult to receive.  It’s hard to maintain a non-defensive and open attitude, as the implication is that we are flawed or wrong.  So there are various things you can do with feedback, however it is delivered:

  1. accept it, and act upon it;
  2. refuse to accept it and bin it; or
  3. hear it and file it for a later date.

Have you got examples of when you’ve utilised all three strategies?  Lets focus on the positive ways of receiving feedback this week, and these include:

  • Open: Listen without frequent interruption or objections
  • Responsive: Willing to hear what’s being said without turning the table.
  • Accepting: Accept the feedback, without denial.
  • Respectful: Recognise the value of what is being said and the speaker’s right to say it.
  • Engaged: Interact appropriately with the speaker, asking for clarification when needed.
  • Active listening: Listen carefully and tries to understand the meaning of the feedback.
  • Thoughtful: Try to understand the personal behaviour that has led to the feedback.
  • Interested: Be genuinely interested in getting feedback.
  • Sincere: Genuinely want to make personal changes if appropriate.

Clearly this suggests that Option 1 is the most effective.  However, that only applies if it is delivered in the way we discussed last week.  Some folk can’t help being judgemental – it’s in their genes, and either they have not undertaken sufficient personal development to overcome that trait, or they themselves have chosen not to absorb and utilise that development to good effect.  Hence, Options 2 and 3 also exist, IT IS YOUR CHOICE in how you allow that feedback experience to impact upon you.

Historically, the gravity I’ve attached to it depends upon the rapport I have established with the person giving it.  It’s built on trust and respect so never neglect that aspect of building workplace relationships.

We shall look at the notion of trust as the founding principle in dysfunctional teams in weeks to come, so merely trailing it her.  This week, reflect upon examples of both good and poor reactions you’ve had wen receiving feedback in the past.  Analyse your reactions given what you have learned over the past 2 weeks and let me know what conclusions you come to.

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Sharon Davidson
Organisational development professional specialising in personal, team and whole organisation improvement. Full range of OD tools and techniques available including: Belbin team role analysis; learning style inventories; 360 degree feedback; cultural assessments; personality psychometrics; strategic planning and workshop facilitation. (This list is not exhaustive!)

Improvement is everyone's concern: +44 1550 720902 will start that process today.

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