There are many programs on how to give feedback.
But it is also critical that we learn how when receiving feedback to embrace it.
Number 1: Don’t wait, ask for it
Feedback should not just be a passive exercise. Waiting for someone to give you feedback, you may be waiting a long time. You should take an active role in the process. Ask for it.
I realize you may feel uncomfortable doing this. But if you think about it, you deserve it and this will have positive impression that “You sincerely want to know what they really think so that you can make the important changes.”
When asking, give them a warning that you would ask for it in an upcoming meeting. Bosses hate surprises. You also want them to be thoughtful and prepared.
Number 2: The objective is to improve yourself by clarifying their feedback into precise development behaviors.
• Behaviors are clear
• Behaviors are actionable
Therefore, ask them follow-up questions to gain more clarity. Ask them to describe it in observable, measurable behaviors: What does it look like when you’re doing it properly. What does it look like when you’re not. Now you clearly know what you need to work on.
Number 3: Now you’ve clarified some precise behaviors you need to address.
If you try to make the behavioral changes with everyone in every situation, you will most likely fail. It is highly improbable you can do this new behavior all the time.
Therefore for impact start with small, doable steps. Choose 1 or 2 people or a certain situation to exhibit the new behavior. When you go into that situation or are about to meet with that person, you’re prepared to focus on making the behavioral change. It is much easier to force yourself to do it then, since it’s specific and focused.
You should also thank your key stakeholders for their feedback and align them to your development plan. This accomplish 3 things:
1. This demonstrates you are not in denial, that you understand what you need to fix, and that you have plans in place to address them.
2. When you make the adjustments, even if they are small, they will notice them.
3. This starts a positive momentum to change their perception of you.
Ask for feedback, embrace it, making the needed changes to being a better leader, manager and person.
Take action, make a difference.