Giving and Receiving Feedback: Opportunity Knocks

Giving and Receiving Feedback: Opportunity Knocks

Have you ever noticed that it is much easier to give negative feedback than it is to receive it? This can be problematic for any supervisor. It is important to recognize that feedback can include both positive and negative aspects. However, your delivery can make or break your outcome.

There are a couple of important questions to consider when giving and receiving positive and negative feedback.

What will be your mode of communication?

Positive feedback is usually well received regardless of whether you are communicating by telephone, face-to-face, or by e-mail. Everyone loves good news. However, face-to-face communication can add a desired personal touch. If you have to give negative feedback, it is probably best to do it face-to-face. This allows your employee to see your facial expression and gestures.

It is important to be empathetic when giving negative feedback and if possible focus on the positive first, give the negative feedback, and close with a positive outcome. A positive outcome would show the employee the benefits of changing the negative behavior. A telephone call can be viewed as impersonal or cowardly, and email can leave much room for miscommunication.

How do you respond to feedback?

When receiving positive feedback, celebrate yourself, regardless of the mode of communication. Some people do themselves a disservice by focusing on the negative. For example, if you receive good news via email you can get upset with the person, because they were not even courteous enough to call or tell you face-to-face. However, the other option is much more uplifting – celebrate yourself, every opportunity you get.

When receiving negative feedback, do not look at it as an obstacle. Look at it as an opportunity to improve. If you have a tendency to become irritated with the messenger of negative feedback, try to distance yourself from the message. After receiving it, take some time focusing on something else, and then focus on the message again to see if you can glean any insights. This can help you calm down and focus on improvement.

What is your desired outcome?

Only give negative feedback when it is necessary. People tend to make greater improvement when they are encouraged. Prior to giving negative feedback, consider how you would like to be dealt with in the same situation. Many supervisors do not do this because they tell themselves that they would never be in that situation. It is always important to treat people with respect, especially when giving negative feedback.

When receiving negative feedback. It is still important to consider your desired outcome. Focus on the positive and progress from there. When you do that you will have a greater opportunity to learn and maintain relationship.

Giving and Receiving Feedback is an Opportunity

If you consider these questions before and after giving and receiving feedback you have the opportunity to help others grow and to grow yourself. Remember 3 key feedback ideals:

  • Feedback presents an opportunity for yourself to grow your skills
  • Feedback helps employees to succeed more and know how their progress is doing
  • Feedback challenges the organization to adapt to failures and successes

What are you waiting for? When it comes to supervisory feedback, opportunity knocks!


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