18 Tips for Receiving Feedback

DO:

1. Seek feedback on a regular basis, especially after you have identified development goals. Exchanging information and perceptions is a process, not a single event.


2. Receive feedback as a gift that provides you with honest information about your perceived behavior/performance. Be open to what you will hear.


3. Let the person finish what he or she is saying.


4. Try to paraphrase what you are being told, either back to the person or in your own mind.


5. Ask clarifying questions.


6. Ask for specifics, if not provided.


7. Ask the person to give you alternatives to your behavior.


8. Monitor your nonverbal and emotional responses.


9. Thank the person for being helpful to you.


10. Take the time after the feedback interaction to evaluate the information and consider specific actions for improvements.


11. Teach yourself to recognize situations in which a certain behavior needs to be altered. Feedback can help you self-monitor your behavior at times when you are less than optimally effective.


12. Use feedback to clarify goals, track progress toward those goals, and to improve the effectiveness of your behaviors over a period of time.


DON’T:

13. Take it personally.


14. Become defensive or explain your behavior. (You can either spend your time mobilizing your defenses or you can spend your time listening. Defending your actions is counterproductive, where listening is extremely useful.)


15. Interrupt the other person.


16. Be afraid to allow pauses and periods of silence when you receive feedback. This gives you time to understand what is being said and it gives the other person time to think about what they say.


17. Ask the person to defend his or her opinion (there is a difference between “defending” and “explaining”). Feedback is purely subjective perceptions of information. You can place your own value on it later.


18. Don’t make excuses or try to explain your behavior.