Monday, August 31, 2009
How to take feedback
Each of us, irrespective of what we do in life (unless we have renounced everything), need feedback to find out how well we are progressing. Only people who genuinely care about our well being would take the effort of giving us feedback. Feedbacks are really a reflection of the impression that others have have formed on us. It is in our interest, therefore, to seek feedback regularly and welcome every feedback that comes our way.
Sometimes we may get appreciation and praise from others. At such times, it is important to retain our poise and listen carefully. Our mind should distinguish the genuine admiration from the flattery. We must make it a point to mentally reconfirm whether we share the same belief and, if required, seek clarifications and examples of instances. We should also not brush away praise by appearing too modest.
Usually, we get feedback on our deficiencies and on occasions where we have faltered. The natural reaction, during such times, of defending ourselves needs to be curbed. We should be alert to both the spoken as well as the unspoken words and hear intently to get the full import of the message. Our body language should convey an openness to receiving the feedback. By asking suitable questions, we should remove any lingering doubts on the feedback received.
We must end each feedback session with a heartfelt thanks to the person communicating. Where we agree with the negative feedback, we must quickly admit and respond on how we plan to improve. If we have a different view, we could keep that for discussion at a different time. Listening without defending does not mean we are in agreement with the feedback. In every case, our words and actions should clearly indicate that the message was well received and we have gratitude to the giver.
"Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning" - Bill Gates