A Quick on Handling Feedback

As the year draws to an end you may probably be getting feedback on how you have been performing. Take the time to learn from this feedback. It isn’t always easy, but it is necessary. This is especially so if you want the new year to be a better one.

So here is a quick on handling feedback.

Take it in Board

Taking the feedback on board means you will inevitably feel something. You may feel, angry, confused, happy, sad or frustrated but take the reaction on board and own it. Recognize that this reaction is normal and you are allowed to have it. Since the feedback was given to you about you and not another person.

Take the feedback on board and instead of finding fault in the messenger, become curious about yourself and make it your responsibility to explore it further.

Assess the Feedback

Many a time people will point out the bad not to make us better but to make us feel worse about ourselves. However, there is the rare moment when a family member, friend or colleague will offer us the kind of feedback that we need to develop.

When feedback is given, no matter the motivation for it, take it on board and ask yourself-what is this message really saying, who is the person giving it, why am I reacting the way I am, and what part of the message is actually true for me, even if I don’t want to acknowledge it?

Assess the feedback and try to figure out what you’ve heard even if you don’t like it. Carefully thinking through what has been thrown at you and what it implies will help you learn from it and make the necessary changes.

Be aware that not everything will be relevant on reflection but everything helps you to consider what parts to work on, what parts to disregard, and what parts that will need more time and effort to change.

Be Grateful for It

Whether you asked for it or not, be grateful. Consider that someone was brave or brazen enough to share it with you, so be glad for it. Hearing something bad or good is better than being ignored. And given that feedback is meant for you to learn another persons’ view of you, say thank you and do it in a way that is sincere and appreciative.

In as much as you must thank people for their feedback also think about how you value and place this individual’s perspective. How does their feedback differ or liken to what you have heard from others? Is there something in common? Is there something you may disagree with?

Ask yourself if it’s really worth exploring. Instead of thinking only about how you can do some damage control or how to go back and have them retract or correct the information. Think whether it is something that you can use in your personal development.

And remember if you’ve heard something helpful, the person giving you feedback likely spent a good amount of time considering your performance and how to thoughtfully discuss it with you. They took a risk by being candid, so let them know how much you appreciate their effort and courage.

Make the Changes

All of the introspection and personal accounting will only make sense if you make changes. Take steps to make a plan and put the changes into practice. You do not have to change everything at once and overnight. Have a plan.

Pick one or two areas that you want to improve and be clear about what this improvement will entail. And consider the steps necessary for you to learn and adopt the new behavior.

Making changes and taking action is not only important for your learning and development but it will also signal to those who shared the feedback that you are serious about improving and you value their effort and point of view.

Kwachalelo

A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo