Receiving and evaluating feedback

Tips for receiving and evaluating feedback.

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Outline

People naturally tend to fear criticism and perceive it as a threat. In fact, the more often we receive feedback, the easier it becomes to hear it and to find useful information in it for our own growth.

Recommendations

1. Think about what you want to learn, and ask specific questions.

For example:

  • What two things do you think I should improve in my work?
  • How could I work more effectively?
  • How could I have completed this task faster and more effectively?
  • If my job was done by the ideal employee, what would he do differently?
  • How do you evaluate my contribution in this project?
  • What more could I do to help you reach the goal?

2. If someone gives you feedback, listen to it. Do not start making excuses or providing explanations.

Remember that the person is only sharing his/her own view of the situation.

Even if you do not agree with what the person is telling you, try to listen until he/she has finished. If you interrupt or start opposing the speaker, you will deny yourself the opportunity to learn something new and understand another person's view.

Ask questions to learn specifics, for example, “I want to make sure I've understood you correctly. You say that I...,” or “Can you give a specific example of when I've acted this way?”

3. Evaluate the feedback you receive.

Think about what you've heard. If you do not agree with the feedback, try to think about why the other speaker got the wrong impression of you. Try to find useful information in what the speaker has said to you.

Consider asking other colleagues for their views, too.

Based on the information you've received, think about whether you want to change anything in your work or behaviour.