Six Things to Remember While Receiving Feedback
As any leader would say – receiving feedback is far more comfortable than writing feedback (the right way). Receiving feedback is much simpler, though it requires discipline. Once mastered, you will be amazed at your ability to convert any interaction into an opportunity.
So, What Is the Secret of Receiving Feedback?
Receiving feedback is an easy process that can be cultivated with intention and discipline. It is crucial for building one’s own career. The secret of receiving feedback is less to do with the content than about the method you receive one.
The six points below can help in all scenarios. The right recipient of feedback will get to know more about how others perceive him/ her and take appropriate steps to correct or build that perception.
1. Be Open-Minded
Listen to all content in the feedback; suspend judgment about its value. This adage is perhaps the toughest to follow. As humans, we come with our own biases and egos, which affects how we are open-minded. The more you are aware of this trait, the easier it is to fix. When the mind is closed and judgmental, any feedback that goes against your natural inclination tends to trigger emotions and expressions that can be detrimental to benefit from such feedback.
2. Treat feedback as an Opportunity
Feedback – good or bad is an opportunity. This is your opportunity to understand your reviewer’s thinking process. You will miss that opportunity to improve if you interrupt. When the reviewer gives their feedback, be an active listener and try to understand more about the context and what they are saying.
3. Clothe with Receptiveness
Adopt an attitude of 100% receptiveness. Don’t begin to defend or even justify your action. If there is one way to kill your chances of making your point heard – it is defending or justifying. When you are receptive to the other person’s point of view, the same will be reciprocated when it is your turn to put your point across.
4. Ask for Clarification. Always
Clarifications are to improve your understanding, and not to defend or negate the feedback. Clarifications make for active listening. You can and should politely ask for more information if you’d like to understand the context. A clarification is to help your own understanding of the feedback and not to put up your case.
5. Do not Debate
Whether or how you use the feedback is for you to decide, later. Do not debate. Any argument will only worsen your chances of getting your point across. The idea is not to take positions. You can listen in and note down the point. To act or when to act on such feedback is for you to listen later.
6. Finally, Let silence do the Heavy Lifting
Silence is a potent tool. Every good negotiator would vouch that that people tend to underestimate the power of silence. “Saying nothing is way more powerful than spoken words.” Silence during feedback defines alpha roles and builds the readiness to assimilate, process, and draw on an action plan in the receiver’s mind. You must recognize the five signs that indicate silence is needed
- Interrupting by talking over someone else
- Formulating your response while someone is talking
- Using a break in the conversation to create a distraction to change topics
- Talking in circles
- Monopolising airtime