January 26, 2018

Your Weekly Top 5: How to Receive Feedback Effectively

Posted by AGU Career Center

Statistics show that employees want feedback, but they find receiving it may be a challenge. It’s difficult for the manager/supervisor, too, because he/she may not know how the employee will react. When receiving feedback, give the benefit of the doubt and put negative bias aside. Feedback is expected to be constructive, factual, fair, and objective. Remember that feedback is intended to create awareness and direction that can lead to your professional growth.

Here are your Tuesday Top 5 tips for how to receive feedback effectively:

1. Be an active listener. Practice your effective listening skills. Encourage the person offering feedback to talk. You will learn more about yourself, how others see you, and how others interpret your actions and behaviors.

2. Be respectful. Be aware of your body language, facial expression, and tone. Maintain eye contact and be careful not to get defensive (not even crossing your arms). If you disagree, are upset, or angry, give yourself time to calm down before responding. And, when you do, carefully choose your words; they matter. Take it for what it is; that is, feedback you can use to improve your performance. Think on how you can improve the behavior, attitude, or situation. Learn from it.

3. Ask questions. Clarify doubts by asking questions. Be certain to ask questions that help you to understand the feedback. Ask for examples that support the feedback.

4. Show appreciation. Express your appreciation regardless of the type of feedback you receive. You can expect that at several times during employment, you will receive both positive and negative feedback. Saying thank you means that you acknowledge the effort that was taken to evaluate you and to provide feedback.

5. Make a decision. Reflect on the feedback and decide your next steps, how are going to use the feedback to further your development and/or better your job.

Patricia Yaya is the Vice President of Human Resources and Administrative Services at the American Geophysical Union.  Additional AGU Staff contributed to this blog.