For many people, feedback is synonymous with criticism. But feedback can be beneficial if received and mined for whatever good it might contain. Taking on board feedback even when itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not so positive is one of the Ã¢â‚¬ËœtoughÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ things one has to do to grow, compete and succeed. When you have the opportunity to receive feedback, hereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what you can do;
Note what is actually been said : Most peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first reaction to especially negative feedback is to be angry, feel offended or just ignore it. When the feedback is communicated in an insensitive way it can aggravate the situation. But do yourself a favour, choose not to reject it immediately and take sometime to Ã¢â‚¬Ëœassess Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s being said and reflect on what might be helpful to you.
Acknowledge the source: The source of the feedback is as important as the content if not more. Is the source someone qualified to say so? There are three sources of feedback that you should not ignore, – from the people who really wish you well, from those who know better and from your bossesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ especially your line manager. If the feedback seems unfair seek clarification and supply information regarding conclusions they might have formed on scanty evidence.
Reflect on the validity of whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been said: When the Ã¢â‚¬Ëœfeedback is not positive and hard for you to accept find your Ã¢â‚¬ËœvalidatorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢-people you respect or trust and who are in a position to Ã¢â‚¬ËœconfirmÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ what you are told. They might be able to give you additional insight and details on exactly how this feedback might be justified and perhaps provide you some examples on behaviours. Where feedback is based on perceptions rather than fact, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still worth doing something to correct it.
Separate feedback from criticism or insult: Feedback should help you to move forward not bring you down. If a feedback session becomes an insult tirade or bullying respectfully point this out. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t forget that there are people who find it easier to criticise than praise so even with the best intention, feedback can degenerate quickly into criticism. Remember whoever wants or is required to give you feedback has no right to disrespect you in the process.
Keeps things in perspective: Wise people are usually able to draw out from any situation whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s useful to them. When you get Ã¢â‚¬ËœunpleasantÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ feedback try to focus on points that will help you, especially where you have heard similar feedback from other sources and seek to address them accordingly. Feedback is enlightening only when you choose to let it be so.
Feed it forward: Most feedback focuses on the past serving as a learning opportunity for what could be different or better in the immediate future. Where feedback is positive donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sit on your laurels but use that as a foundation to achieve an even greater performance.
Now take action: What feedback have you ignored that you might wish to reassess?