Receiving Feedback from your employees and co-workers

Do you ask for feedback? Like most people, probably not. You need to develop a new habit, and that is asking for feedback. It's hard at first, but it is important in becoming a better leader and worker.

Feedback is one of the most useful yet most underutilized tools for becoming better at your job.

Receiving feedback on a frequent basis helps you improve your performance which helps improve the overall performance of the organization.

You need to be proactive in requesting feedback as people are unaccustomed to providing it without prompting. Asking for feedback tells the person you are requesting it from that you value their opinion, you are ready to receive feedback and you care about improving.

Pro Tips

  • Don't be defensive. Be open to them and actually listen to them.
  • Assume they have your best interest, even if it seems like the feedback is critical. Be objective and look at it from their viewpoint.
  • "Thank You", goes a long way. Keep them providing you feedback rather than dismissing your requests as pointless or unappreciated.

How to receive feedback effectively

Don't view it as personal

  • It may be personally about you, but it's not personal. It's constructive criticism. Not an attack.

It won't be comfortable, learn to accept that

  • Feedback isn't always what you want to hear, but it is very helpful to learn about your shortcomings and what you are doing right.
  • Constructive feedback allows you to learn.
  • You don't have to use all the feedback, but it is great to hear other viewpoints

Be open to their opinions

  • Listen and be open to their suggestions. You want them to be comfortable giving you feedback, so make it easy. Let them know you appreciate it.
  • Let them say their opinion without interruption or judgment. Listen to them, don't just hear them.

No arguments allowed

  • Just because you don't agree doesn't mean they are wrong.
  • You don't have to take their advice or act on it, but you do have to listen to it.
  • It may take time for you to "noodle" on it, before you can accept they may have a point.
  • You need to create an environment that shows you are listening and care about their opinions. If you want feedback, you need to accept that their viewpoint is truth from their perspective.
  • No interrupting or arguing. Listen.

Consider getting and giving feedback a skill you need to work on

  • A great leader has a lot of tools they can use. Giving and getting feedback is an important one.
  • It requires practice. Receiving it and providing useful constructive feedback is a skill you need to work on to get better at.

Think big

  • Utilize the feedback to see how it relates to the "big picture" and see if it makes more sense on the larger scale.

Be upfront about expectations

  • Let the person giving feedback know how much you are ready to hear.
  • Maybe limit them to a specific topic or area at a time. You don't want to be overwhelmed.
  • Avoid getting too much feedback at once. It may put you on the defensive and stop listening.
  • If you are defensive, then an open and honest conversation in the future will be more difficult.
  • Ask for feedback about specific areas, instead of a general topic.

Be involved in the process

  • Ask questions for clarification
  • Yes and no questions are not as helpful as open ended questions
  • "Did I include the right people on the project? Who should I have included or not included?"
  • "How do you feel the meeting I ran went?"
  • "What could I have done better to manage this project?"

Be thankful, even if you don't agree

  • This person gave you candid feedback. Whether you agree or not, thank them for their opinion and taking the time to provide it.
  • Appreciation and a supportive view of getting feedback will help the employee respect you and shows you value their opinions.