Feedback- It’s that word we dread hearing at work, right? Why do we feel this way about feedback, this immediate negative connotation with the word? Throughout our lives, we have received feedback, whether it was requested or simply bestowed upon us. So, with that logic, we should be used to it by now, even professionals at receiving it and giving it in the right way! The truth is, we still have a lot of baggage when it comes to the word “feedback”. We view it as mean spirited, useless, overwhelming, or some combination of those feelings. The important thing to remember is that feedback is ESSENTIAL to understanding our successes and areas of improvement, but it is all about how it is delivered and received.
It is vital that we train our managers and our employees on the art of giving and receiving feedback. If we don’t practice some valuable attributes of feedback, we won’t be successful in the feedback process. Here are some key things to keep in mind with feedback that should help with the delivery process, taken from Psychology Today:
- Always lead with questions: How do you think you're doing? It gives the recipient joint ownership of the problem and helps them feel included, not excluded.
- Never give criticism unless it's been invited; unsolicited negative feedback only provokes annoyance and will be discounted.
- Make sure you are seen as having the authority to give corrective feedback. Criticism from those perceived as peers or unqualified to give it incites resistance and rebellion.
- Distinguish whether a demand for change reflects your needs or is a valid critique of how someone is doing something. Know when "You're too demanding" really means "I wish I felt more accepted."
- Never give feedback when you're angry; anger alienates the listener. Expressing disappointment is more productive.
- Know who you're talking to. Narcissists take any criticism as a personal attack; the insecure lose all self-esteem.
- Know yourself, too. If you're relatively insensitive to criticism, curb the tendency to be heavy-handed when delivering it.
- Expect defensiveness as a first response to criticism; a change in performance may come later.
What are some of your methods that have been successful with delivering feedback? Feel free to leave a comment with your ideas!
Want to get a quick understanding of your employee’s acceptance of feedback? Take a look at our “Feedback Quick Pulse” to find out more!