Posts Tagged ‘frequent interruptions’

Receiving Feedback

March 13, 2012

Often the forgotten part of the feedback process, but for me the most fundamental part of creating a feedback culture is to help people understand the principles of receiving feedback. Some people experience feedback as criticism and do not want to hear it.  Others see it as crushing or a confirmation of their worthlessness.  Others only want to hear positives and nothing that might suggest imperfections. Other people view it very differently – accept feedback however, even if it is sometimes disturbing believing they can grow from it. It comes down to whether you believe feedback will harm you or benefit you.

Think of a time you responded well to feedback.

What did you do? 

Think of a time you responded badly to feedback.

What did you do? 

One of the problems for some people with regard to receiving feedback is that they only know how to behave as a ‘feedback victim’ rather than take responsibility for receiving feedback as well as delivering it. We do not always have to accept feedback, or the manner which it is delivered.  We all have the right to disregard feedback and we can expect feedback to be given in a respectful, supportive manner… but even delivered badly, we may be able to learn. Best practice for receiving feedback – what do we want to do?

Positive / Open Style

  • Open – listen without frequent interruptions of objections
  • Responsive – willing to hear what is being said without trying to turn the tables
  • Accepting – accepts other persons point of view without denial
  • Respectful – recognises the value of what is being said and the speakers right to say it
  • Engaged – interacts appropriately with speaker. Asks for clarification
  • Active listening – tries to understand the meaning of the feedback
  • Thoughtful
  • Interested
  • Sincere – wants to make personal changes if appropriate

Negative / Closed Style

  • Defensive – defends personal actions, frequently objects
  • Attacking – verbally attacks the feedback giver, turns tables
  • Denies – refutes the accuracy or fairness of the feedback
  • Disrespectful – devalues speaker and what speaker is saying
  • Closed – ignores feedback, blanks it out
  • Inactive listening – no attempt to understand
  • Rationalising – finds explanation for the feedback that dissolves any personal responsibility
  • Superficial – listens, appears to agree, with no intention of doing anything about it

This is not to say you cannot challenge the feedback if you disagree with it.  It may be appropriate to go away and think about the feedback in a pro-active, responsible way first though. It can be OK, valid and right to not do anything about the feedback or to decide you want to challenge the feedback. You may have other feedback or examples to show this feedback is invalid or not the case. This is not to be used as an excuse for never taking on board feedback. If you receive the same feedback several times from different people (and you are interested in self development!) you need to explore it. Also, there is no need to argue with feedback – it may not be factual, it may be someone’s personal opinion.  Always repeat back the feedback to check you have fully understood and be curious.

Sean@Bluesky

Sean Spugin - Blue Sky Performance Improvement

www.blue-sky.co.uk

Blue Sky Performance Improvement

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