Feedback is crucial for improving your personal performance. Handled correctly it can be a powerful motivator. Whilst many managers are usually OK about giving critical feedback to their direct reports, they are often less comfortable when they themselves are receiving it. However, unless you learn how to receive feedback as well as give it you are failing to make the most of your career. Here are some tips on getting feedback.
Tip 1: Create opportunities to get feedback.
You may be fortunate to have a formal performance review process where you work. If so, ensure dates for these go into your and your line manager’s diary. It is easy for those in a managerial role to make excuses about being “too busy” and letting these vital formal feedback sessions slip by. Between formal reviews you can also seek informal feedback from those you work with.
Tip 2: Practice your active listening skills.
When being given feedback by others listen actively and ask lots of questions. Make sure you understand what the other person is trying to tell you. Some people – particularly your direct reports - may find it hard to give critical feedback to you, so make it easier by showing them that you are genuinely interested in their feedback and that you welcome it.
Tip 3. Manage your emotions.
Whilst it is fine to express your surprise or disappointment about any critical feedback you receive, don’t let your emotions take hold. Angry outbursts, sulking or floods of tears will not help you develop and will inhibit, or even stop, others from giving you their honest feedback in the future. If you do want to express your negative emotions, then make sure you do this assertively and not aggressively.
Tip 4. Use the information.
It is important to remember that the feedback you get is not necessarily 100% factual. It is, however, the other person’s perceptions and, therefore, their reality about you and your actions. So even if you don’t like what you are hearing it is still important to think about and act on the information if you want to change the way you are perceived by those around you.