Are we ready to receive feedback?

Feedback is the information we receive during effective communication: we speak of an instrument that enables providing an opinion to those around us, work, family, friends, and others.

If we look at the use of feedback within organisations, we find that for years, the corporate communication method used to obtain conclusions in companies has been performance reviews, where energy was only focused on evaluating and measuring the performance of employees. However, with the implementation of continuous feedback, an evaluation system that delivers better results has been developed: it provides acknowledgement of positive behaviours and identifies inadequate behaviours so that they can be modified.

Learning through feedback

On one hand, much has been written about how to give feedback, but not so much on how to receive it.

In this sense, speaker Fernando Johann, Business Solutions Manager at NXTP Labs, – states in an article published in LinkedIn Feedback kills creativity (2017, Argentina), that “we are the generation that is supposed to be prepared to receive feedback. Collectively, we have understood that external opinions are mostly well-intended and tend to improve our performance and, therefore, we have no problem in listening what others think about our work (or performance).” In addition, he adds, when we receive feedback, we are preparing to learn.

Lucy King, member of BBC World Service entertainment department, offers some tips for receiving feedback:

  • Avoid being defensive

This is your chance to learn more about yourself and how others see you. Try to listen to what they are saying and use it to your advantage.

  • You can ask to pause the conversation at any time

It is acceptable to ask to interrupt the meeting if you need time to think. It is important that you express your thoughts and opinions, but you must consider them before you answer.

  • Define the purpose of the feedback

Tell the person who is giving you feedback that you would like to know about a particular aspect of your job. This way, you will have focused and useful answers, instead of vague generalisations.

  • Use active listening techniques

Try not to interrupt and participate actively to improve; if necessary, ask for examples that clarify the behaviours that you should change.

  • Create an action plan

Think of creating an action plan that sets objectives that, both in your opinion and in that of the person giving you feedback, can be achieved.

Take this opportunity to grow and learn from the views of those around you to be more integral; use feedback to your advantage!