03 Sep Do you like receiving feedback or does it feel like a nasty gift?
Feedback, A Nasty Gift?
When was the last time you received feedback and didn’t like it at all? What was wrong with it? Maybe the timing was off, or the cruelty was in “the way it was said”. And you know what? Probably you are right! Because it looks like only 10% of all the feedback that is given to you, is spot on. The feedback-receiver has to do the dirty work, and find the useful hints, hidden underneath a mountain of emotions. Therefore we created a new 90-minute workshop on receiving feedback, that is based on the insights of Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone.
Receiving Feedback Habits
In their new book “Thanks for the feedback“, they talk about strategies to react gracefully to feedback that triggers the worst in us. Can’t wait to get started with it? We translated their research and insights in these three foundation habits:
Habit 1: Spot the labels
First of all, even when we get specific feedback, it is still covered in labels. Maybe you have to be more “proactive”, and less “vague and confusing”. A clear label for the feedback-giver, can be a huge mystery to you.
Therefore we recommend this habit:
Every time you receive feedback, question the “labels”: where is this feedback coming from? And what exactly is it saying about the future?
Habit 2: Take 3 steps back
Are you discussing with your spouse over and over again? Or do you get annoyed by the same kind of behavior of a co-worker? Then it’s time to take 3 steps back.
- Step 1: Analyse your tendencies in the specific situation, and those of your “opponent”. How do they interfere with each other?
- Step 2: Figure out if there is an inherent clash in your roles and responsibilities.
- Step 3: Take a look at the bigger picture of things. What external factors influence these issues?
Taking three steps back will help you see the situation in a more accurate light and it will get easier to decide how you can adjust your behavior. (Because that’s the only thing that is within your zone of influence.)
Habit 3: Reframe feedback as coaching
Most feedback is intended to come off as coaching, but we often just hear it as an evaluation of our personality which makes us spiral in a dark, murky place. Therefore don’t just embrace the darkness and reframe every feedback you are getting, as a coaching-message.
“You are a bad driver” gets reframed as “I will become an even better driver if I don’t text while I’m driving.” Most feedback can be heard in two ways: as an evaluative comment or as a coaching effort. Consequently being aware of this fact, will make every kind of feedback easier to take.
Good luck with those new habits!
Anneleen (content manager at CUTE)