5 Tips To Receive Feedback Effectively At Home & Work!
Tip #1: Think Of Feedback As Data
If we want to grow personally and / or professionally – we need to make feedback a top value and cornerstone in our work & home life! Most of us don’t improve without it! Think of feedback as data – it’s simply information that can help us improve. Try not to take it personally.
Tip #2: Focus On The Sender’s Intent
Ask yourself – who is giving the feedback and what is their intent? Is their intent to help you or hurt you? While some people know how to give feedback effectively – most people do not. So chances are when you receive negative feedback it was done ineffectively. So focus on the giver’s intent. If you think the intent was malicious, you would do well to ignore that person’s comments. However, if you think the giver’s intent was to help you improve – pay attention to what they are saying!
Tip #3: Ask For The Positives
Don’t be afraid to ask for positives if you are receiving feedback from someone who is only focusing on the negatives (the teacher in my story) instead of letting you know also what you did well (the girl). I had a boss years ago that dished out only negative feedback. So one day I had the courage to tell him that I respond much better (and I’m a much more effective employee) when he can also tell me what I’m doing well. He looked surprised and then tried to give some positives (it was slightly awkward but I could see him trying which made a big difference to me). To me, hearing both the positives & negatives is a more accurate picture of how I’m doing (which is why I think its important for everyone to hear both).
Tip #4: Look For The Truth
Most of us when we hear negative feedback tend to shut down or zone out. The challenge is that although how they are saying it (93% of communication) is not effective – what they are saying (7% of communication) may be nuggets of truth for areas to improve.
In my story above, I had to put my ego aside, and be honest with myself. The teacher had raised some excellent points for what I could do differently to take my presentation to the next level, and if I was able to embrace that truth, as harsh as it sounded at the time, I would improve.
Tip #5: Make Feedback A Cornerstone In Your Life
As I’ve worked with 1000’s of people (in all kinds of different backgrounds, education, professions, types of families) - I’ve learned that people who THRIVE (personally & professionally) are people who are not only OPEN TO FEEDBACK but ASK FOR FEEDBACK. I encourage you to make feedback a cornerstone in your life. Start today! How courageous are you feeling today? I challenge you to ask your spouse – how are you doing as a wife / husband? Ask your kids how you are doing as a parent? Ask your colleagues how you are doing as a co-worker / boss / employee? When we ASK for feedback – people are more likely to share it and that information is gold. Remember that none of us are perfect – but if we strive for excellence, seek out feedback and try to apply that information - we will grow in all areas of our life!
Next month - 7 Tips For Gen Y To Thrive In the Workplace
Practical Tips For Parents, Gen Y Themselves & Employers!