Receiving feedback is an important skill that can help you grow personally and professionally. How you handle feedback can impact your relationships, your ability to improve and your overall success.
Remember the QTIP: quit taking it personally. You are still OK, even if some of your behaviors need attention. Consider it diamond-polishing time.
Who decides if a feedback session has been successful? The receiver determines its effectiveness.
Look inward and consider these three trigger reactions that authors Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone of “Thanks For The Feedback” say block our ability to receive feedback well:
Do you find yourself relating to one or more of these triggers when receiving feedback? It’s important to know that receiving constructive criticism takes practice. The following eight tips will help you develop a positive mindset when receiving feedback:
Be mindful of using an interrogating tone. Practice the question, “What do you mean by that?,” with a genuine desire to learn and grow rather than to defend or attack.
Correct any inaccuracies you hear in a non-defensive manner.
If needed, take time out before responding to sort out what you want to say. Is what you’re about to say going to improve the situation? Make a repair if you feel it may have come out wrong.
Ask for one suggestion on what you could do differently. You are adopting the mindset of how this person and this interaction can help you be better. Turn failure into fertilizer.
Take notes where appropriate. It calms nerves and shows you are taking this seriously.
This positively reinforces and encourages others to provide feedback.
Work it into your relationships and projects and after an agreed upon time, ask if there’s noticeable improvement.
Talk to a coach or mentor about the feedback – and process it.
Potentially schedule a follow-up conversation if it’s a larger issue.
How you act afterward is most important: you prove you value their opinion.
“The key to growing as a leader is to narrow the gap (of how you see yourself and how you want to be seen) by developing a deep self-awareness that comes from straight feedback and honest exploration of yourself, followed by a concerted effort to make changes,” said Bill George, Harvard professor and former chief executive officer of Medtronic.
Receiving feedback can be challenging, especially when it’s critical or unexpected. However, with practice and a positive mindset, you can use feedback as a valuable tool for personal and professional growth.
Paul D. Casey lives in the Tri-Cities and is the owner of Growing Forward Services, which aims to equip and coach leaders and teams to spark breakthrough success. He also is the executive director of Leadership Tri-Cities.
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