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Take it on the chin - the importance of feedback

Taking feedback can be hard, but it can also be extremely rewarding. I received some feedback from one of my team members this morning that made me stop in my tracks and re-think my previous actions and reactions to a situation. In fact the reverb effect of her feedback made me re-think some of my actions, communication and reactions to particular challenging situations within a project over the last 6 months.

It is fair to say that I truly appreciated her feedback. But I also think that if the situation had been different, or she’d give it to me at a different time or while my state of mind wasn’t receptive to it, it may have been wasted, or certainly not as impactful.

What this reminded me of was 4 basic rules when receiving feedback

I am sure that we have all practiced giving feedback, but it’s easy to forget the importance of receiving it in the right way too.

  1. Take a breath and think about your state of mind. Are you the right mental emotional and physical place to receive feedback properly?
  2. Remain cool. Don’t get defensive. Think about what you have been told before reacting to it. Have you considered all the facts?  Have you considered all involved?
  3. Accept it. Even the most experienced leaders can lose awareness of a situation, and feedback should be accepted from all sides – colleagues, peers, team members, clients. Sometimes it needs someone looking in from the outside to make us aware of our actions.
  4. Learn from it. Always see feedback as an opportunity to learn rather than a threat. Take it in the spirit it is intended.

Actively encourage feedback

Do you encourage feedback enough? When you are given it how do you react?

Often as we move up a career ladder feedback is often something that occurs less and less. As our responsibilities increase we should be receiving more feedback, not less. Feedback should come openly from all members of your team, reports, peers and Managers and customers. As a leader it is down to you to ensure that the environment you have created encourages such.


Shona Fletcher, Service Delivery Director

Working in and managing remote teams is more and more common. In my series of blogs I’ll talk through my experiences, lessons learnt, tips for success and general musings.

Copyright © 2013 Bray Leino Learning

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