Feedback is a curious thing. Some people relish feedback whilst others despise it and will avoid it at all costs. Why is this the case? Is it because we don’t like hearing the truth or having to put a mirror up to ourselves, or is it because we don’t like the feeling it leaves us with after we hear something negative.
It is amazing how we as humans look at feedback as a negative thing rather than a positive.
For me Feedback of all types is a wonderful thing as it is something we all learn from, even if we don’t want to acknowledge the truth of negative feedback when we receive this from time to time.
Whilst we all seem to provide and receive negative feedback more than positive it is important that any feedback is taken on-board as a learning opportunity.
Think back to when you learnt basic skills as a child or whilst studying or even last week when learning something new at work. To develop the skills we were seeking it took both positive and negative feedback to help you get to the next stage.
In my life I have learnt to embrace feedback and whilst I don’t like hearing this at times I have developed a number of skills and tricks to help me learn from this which I have shared for you below:
- Take all feedback, both positive and negative, with the same emotion.
- Don’t speak or provide opinion back when receiving feedback – instead take some time to process what has been said and then take action on this if needed – this may be 1 hour to a few days later
- When receiving feedback write down your feelings and thoughts from this and then revisit these.
- Assess the situation you are receiving feedback on and self-analysis what you would do different next time
- Don’t take it personally – learn from it. If you don’t know how speak with the person providing the feedback to learn from them or find someone who can assist with the learning
When giving feedback, some tips:
- Be fair and not personal with the feedback
- Assess whether an issue is related to the person or if it is in fact a systems or process. Systems or Processes should be looked at before providing any feedback
- Be willing to assist the person in learning from this feedback
- Share more positive feedback than negative. Help people celebrate the wins and build a positive feeling around feedback.
- Be fair and direct and think about what you’ll be saying before you say it – it may help to get your message across in a better way if you rehearse or think about what outcomes you want to achieve