Handling Feedback Like a Pro

Coaching Through Feedback

Giving feedback requires a little finesse. The organization’s culture should promote positive feedback between managers and employees and peer-to-peer feedback. And feedback should be provided in a constructive manner that is detailed yet brief, offering alternative behavior for the recipient to move forward. Receiving feedback is a whole different experience, which is why this Ask Fuel First question is so important: how can I receive feedback gracefully so as to grow? 

Getting Feedback isn’t Always Easy  

Even if the one giving feedback tries their best to make sure the feedback is constructive and valuable, there may be times when you feel frustrated or overwhelmed. You wouldn’t be the only one ever to feel this way. However, as you continue your journey to becoming a modern leader, it’s time to handle your feedback like a boss. That means using the feedback planner to sift through the feedback you receive from someone else. 

Four Steps to Handling Feedback Effectively 

As you receive feedback from others, remember that this is an opportunity for you to grow. Here are four steps to help you in that process: 

  1. Listen: Listen actively to demonstrate understanding and acceptance. Remain calm regardless of how the criticism is shared (even if it’s a venting of frustration). Be factual with examples.  
  1. Repackage: Repackaging the criticism as needed using the Feedback Planner. Gather more information if necessary. 
  1. Accept: Accept boxes one, two and three of the Feedback Planner and openly discuss the information in box four. 
  1. Improve: Improve the situation by offering options for you and the other person to do things differently. Feedback occurs during a conversation, so ask for suggestions. 

Repackaging Your Feedback with the Feedback Planner

You can use the feedback planner to repackage feedback. Consider these tips to keep that conversation moving. 

  1. Restate: Ask the other person to restate what was said or asked, like, “what is it about the way I did the project that you don’t like?” If you disagree with the feedback, you can say, “we see things differently. Please tell me more about your view and give me examples.” These are boxes 2 and 3 in the feedback planner. 
  1. Hostility: Sometimes, people will say “yes” out of hostility. You might consider saying, “I get the sense that you’re saying yes only to be done with me.” Maybe the other person keeps saying “yes, but…” repeatedly. You could say, “what I hear you saying is all the reason why it won’t work. Let’s look to implement this option or explore other feasible options.” 
  1. Avoidance: Some people may be uncomfortable giving others feedback. There are a few things that you, the recipient of the feedback, can say to ease the situation, like “how can I create an environment between us where we can openly talk about what is going on?” You might have to ask them if they are interested in working out the situation. If not, you could say, “If you’re not interested in working this out with me, how do you suggest we resolve this problem?” These people are avoiding box 4 of the feedback planner. You should help them open up, so they can become part of the solution. 
  1. Get Help: There will be times when you’re unsure of what’s happening and may feel you need to get other people involved. You could say things like, “I’m not completely aware of what’s going on here,” “how would you improve this situation?” or “what do you suggest we do?” Again, this is box 4 of the feedback planner. Try to get the information you need to proceed, whether from the person giving feedback or someone else. 

Giving and receiving feedback can elicit emotions and stoke tempers. When receiving feedback, think about how the information you get fits into the feedback planner. If the one giving feedback isn’t clear or has missing data, ask for it. Even if you’re receiving negative feedback, remember that you are a professional who can repackage information, so it’s helpful. 

To learn more about giving and receiving feedback, read more Ask Fuel First articles or contact Fuel Medical’s Professional Development team. 

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