Guidelines for giving and receiving feedback
Make sure that you are ready to receive feedback. Be prepared for hearing both the positive feedback and suggestions for what you can improve.
Ask specific questions.
Help the other person to provide valuable information by asking for feedback about specific things.
Check what you have heard.
Be sure you understand the other person’s message. Because the topic is you – you may begin to think about the meaning behind the feedback before you fully understand what was intended.
Share how you feel.
Because your feelings are involved, what was and was not helpful to you assists the other person in improving his or her skills at giving useful feedback. If they are uncomfortable with your reaction they will be less willing to risk providing you with truly honest feedback again.
Don’t become defensive.
Even though the feedback will be about you, don’t become defensive. Accept the feedback graciously, and use it to your advantage.
Consider how the feedback can be used to your advantage, you can always improve your performance.
This is the most important guideline and one which many of us struggle with, particularly when the feedback is close to the bone. Without being skilled at listening you will never fully attain your potential. Reflect on what is being said and ask questions to clarify understanding and pull out more from what is being offered to you.
Tell the other person what you plan to do with the feedback, how you will act up on it and deploy the learning to improve your performance. This will show your maturity and willingness to change.
Note from AG
* Someone once told me that feedback was the breakfast of champions.