Feedback is a word that often makes people cringe and can cause conflict in the workplace. “Let me give you some feedback”… “are you open to hearing some feedback?” Sometimes people don’t even ask permission and just start giving you feedback. We all have experienced this at some point in our lives and it happens both in our personal and professional lives.
How do you receive feedback without taking things personally or getting defensive? This is easier said than done. Here are six things to consider that will help you be successful in hearing and accepting feedback.
1) Assume positive intent
If you assume that the other person’s motivation is to help make you better/productive this will prevent you from becoming defensive.
2) Q.T.I.P. (Quit Taking It Personally)
Do not get emotional; suspend emotions.
3) Listen with open ears
Listen for the facts or behaviors that you can modify or change to get better.
4) Ask clarifying questions and paraphrase
Look for opportunities to ask questions and paraphrase so that you can gain a greater understanding of the other party’s perspective.
5) Thank the person for their feedback
Sincerely thank the person for sharing their perspective.
6) Find the truth in the feedback
Truly take the time to reflect on the other party’s perspective and find the truth. You will not get better without seeing the reality in the other party’s story.
Additional food for thought:
- You cannot control the other person’s choice of words, tone of voice or body language when giving feedback.
- Most people are not good at giving feedback.
- The other person may need feedback on how to give feedback, but this is not the time to give them that feedback.
- It is okay, in most circumstances, to say that you need to re-schedule a time to meet to receive their feedback. If you do get emotional ask to reschedule.
The most difficult feedback you may receive may be the most helpful to you in your career. Take a deep breath, open your ears, and find the truth in the feedback! Is there truth in the feedback you are not willing to hear and accept?