The Art of Receiving Feedback

Feedback

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” ~ Bill Gates

Receiving feedback with grace is a valuable leadership skill, yet many managers struggle with it. While we’re often quick to critique others, being on the receiving end involves an entirely different set of emotional and psychological skills.

Few leaders deny feedback’s benefits, but their openness to hearing and applying it may fall short. Accepting feedback is a best-practice skill that requires emotional intelligence, relational aptitude and humility. The benefits extend to everyone in the workplace and beyond.

Four fundamental concepts will help you manage professional feedback:

  1. Recognize feedback for what it actually is: information about yourself. It almost always involves someone’s assessment of you—fairly simple, yet not always fair.
  2. Three types of feedback, with differing purposes, potential benefits and pitfalls, are at play.
  3. Inherent tensions will affect how you feel during any feedback session (i.e., your need to excel, be accepted and be seen as worthy). Each of us has these emotional survival traits, which can cloud our emotions as we listen to criticism.
  4. Consequently, we experience resistance to feedback. Some of us brace for it, some fear it, and others try to prevent its delivery altogether.

This article examines the art of receiving feedback, why it is such a crucial skill for leaders, and suggests four elements of feedback mastery for leaders to improve the culture of any organization. 

This is a brief synopsis of a 1,500-word and a 900-word article and 5 Article Nuggets*, suitable for consultants’ newsletters for executives and leaders in organizations. It is available for purchase with full reprint rights, which means you may put your name on it and use it in your newsletters, blogs or other marketing materials. You may also modify it and add your personal experiences and perspectives.

The complete article includes these important concepts:

  • Three types of feedback
  • The driving force of resistance
  • Four challenges of receiving feedback
  • Mastering feedback

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