Feedback: Sometimes it is Better to Receive than Give | HR Fishbowl


I think we can all agree on at least one thing related to Performance Management.  Giving meaningful feedback – particularly when it is critical – is tough tough tough.  Even those of us who make a living at it need to work it really hard.  Sure, some are naturals.  But most aren’t. How many of you HR pros have conducted a training session for your managers on providing feedback?  I think most of you raised your hands.  How many of you have conducted sessions on receiving feedback? Hmmmmm….

Management consultant, coach, speaker, and corporate fear mitigation extraordinaire, Jason Seiden, had an interesting post yesterday with his rules for giving feedback.  There were 16 of them.  And while they were all good rules, my guess is most managers wouldn’t make it past #3 before heading on to their next “to do.”  We’ve already convinced them providing feedback is hard and burdening them with training, webinars, tips, reminders, and rules won’t necessarily make it any easier…or make them any better at it. So if the realistic odds say your manager will be crap at providing you feedback, maybe we need to help our people take matters into their own hands.  Maybe that’s the only way to make feedback meaningful; maybe that’s where the real return on investment is.  So here are my rules (note only 3) for receiving feedback.

1) Ask for it often.  Then ask for it again.  If you don’t get it from the person you’re asking, ask someone else.  Ask a peer, ask a direct report, ask your bosses boss.  And here’s the only thing you need to ask: “What could I be doing better?”

2) Take it only for what it is:  It’s a perspective and it’s an important one.  Even if you don’t agree with it, it’s another piece of the code you need to uncovering the secrets of surviving in the workplace.

3) Do something with it.  Don’t just check a box and file it away.  Create a response plan.  Show your feedback provider that you’re taking their perspective seriously.  It will make them more apt to provide feedback down the road.

Other interesting posts and perspectives on receiving feedback:

  • Michaela Scherr
  • Dan McCarthy
  • Susan Heathfield

Photo Credit: Hemptopia

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