August 17, 2022

How to receive feedback from others

We are continuously giving feedback. Either explicit through oral or written language, or implicit with gestures, with our tone of voice or even by sending our favorite memes and stickers.


But we also get constant feedback and it's all too easy to take feedback personally. Because of course, we don't always like what we hear or, simply, we don't expect certain evaluations. However, feedback reinforces strengths , reveals the effects of our behavior, keeps the focus on the objectives and improves the skills and our professional career.

And feedback is not just something vital for employees or subordinates. For leaders at any level, the best way to grow is by getting feedback from your team. Listening to the people they lead should be essential for any manager who wants to improve.
However, there is a problem with receiving feedback. Especially if their job position is higher up than the person receiving the feedback. And it is normal, there is a lot of talk about how to give feedback but not about how to receive it. So as much as we are careful on how we give it, if we perceive a certain tension, we tend to minimize any negative or less positive feedback.
Whether you are a boss or not, it is very important that you pay attention to how you receive feedback and how you internalize it:
  • Start with a thank you. The first response when someone gives you feedback should be a response of gratitude. Understand that if someone makes the effort to value your work, it is because they want to help you (to improve or to continue doing things just as great). Also, keep in mind that if a person on your team offers you feedback, especially if it is constructive, they are risking that you will not respond in the best way. So starting with a “thank you” sets the stage for the other person to understand that you are listening and that the risk was worth it.
  • No Interruptions. Listen to the person and listen to what they are saying, avoid assuming what they will say. You will be able to absorb more information if you focus on listening and understanding the matter instead of being defensive and concentrating on how you are going to respond or how you are going to justify yourself.
  • Responsiveness. It is very important to be receptive to new ideas and different opinions. There is more than one way to do the same thing and it is interesting to know which one may be the most effective or which one you will have the most fun with. By being receptive we can always learn something worthwhile.
  • Assume your mistakes and generate a culture for mistakes. It sounds like a quote from a movie about a baseball coach, but it's true: success means learning from setbacks. If you make a mistake, acknowledge that you made that mistake so your team understands and sees that nothing will happen. If you're not a boss, too. Accepting mistakes helps to find ways to do things better.
  • Ask questions. If someone gives you feedback but doesn't suggest how to do things better or differently, ask questions that will help you get that information. For example: What do you think I could do to get better results regarding this? How could I do better at what you ask me to do? Could you give me some examples? Also, asking questions makes it very clear to your interlocutor that you are paying attention.
  • Not personal. You should never take feedback personally. Just like when it's positive feedback, you don't think they're complimenting you out of personal friendship, if it's negative feedback, it's not because they're your enemy. Use constructive feedback as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the way you work. It's an amazing learning opportunity!
  • Eager to improve. Think of feedback as an opportunity to grow, to be a better colleague, to improve, to move forward, and to achieve goals.
  • Share what you are changing. Listening to feedback is not the last phase of the process. Only when we carry out an action plan does growth really occur. When you make changes based on that feedback, share it with the person or people who helped you figure out what changes to make.
  • Ask for more feedback. Just like a raffle, feedback has a sure gift: more feedback! Feedback is not a single intervention, it is a process. You are growing, changing and improving all the time, and to do that you will need more and more feedback. So make sure you develop the habit of looking for more comments. Over time, not only will you receive more, but the people who give you feedback will also feel more comfortable giving it to you.
Have you ever received feedback? How did you feel? We'll read your comments on our social networks. And, of course, we offer you our tool for free so that you can choose or create the template with which you want to promote that feedback:

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