At some point in your career, and even your personal life, you will receive feedback. Most people are very happy to receive feedback as long as it is positive. The challenge is receiving negative and critical feedback.
It is important to understand that negative feedback, if delivered appropriately, provides us with a powerful development and learning experience. The key is being open to, and comfortable with feedback. The first step in receiving any form of feedback is creating a safe and professional environment where the person who is providing the feedback feels comfortable to speak with you.
Not all team members will be aware of, or to choose to follow the feedback guidelines we discussed in a previous blog. When this happens, it is an opportunity for you to model an appropriate response to feedback and set up an environment in which feedback is welcomed.
Here are some ideas about encourage feedback from your team and colleagues.
Some questions that you can use to gain feedback during discussions with your team and colleagues include:
- How well do I communicate what I expect from you?
- Am I involved enough, or too much, in your work?
- Do I listen to your ideas?
- What do I do that helps you in your job?
- What do you wish I would do differently?
You can also use the STOP, START and KEEP model. This is really simple and effective. All you need to do is ask… what do you I need to stop doing, what do I need to start doing and what do I need to keep doing? This simple model can provide the impetus for people to give you the feedback that you need.
Some other ideas to consider include…
- Be open to the fact that you will receive feedback—this is an opportunity for improvement.
- Listen carefully to the feedback in full. Don’t interrupt or discourage the person giving feedback. Don’t defend yourself (‘It wasn’t my fault …’) and don’t justify (‘I only did that because …’).
- Clarify your understanding of their feedback and ask for specific examples.
- Summarise your understanding of the feedback. Paraphrase the message in your own words to be sure you have heard and understood what was said.
To wrap up, remember that feedback is a powerful development tool and it needs to be handled with care.