“Let me give you some feedback” is rarely followed by positivity. As a result, it’s easier to avoid feedback than listen and accept it.
In our business at Staffing Support Specialists, we strive to be kind and direct with the frequent amount of feedback we provide. It’s not an easy balance. We receive feedback as well and suggest the following when you hear the phrase, “Let me give you some feedback.”
Listen for Useful Information
What is actionable? What did you not know? At the very least, what have you learned about how the person is providing the feedback?
It is easy to hear someone say they want to give you some feedback and to immediately shut down or not listen, but we wouldn’t recommend that. Even if the other person isn’t coming from a kind and loving perspective, there might be some very actionable pieces within what they say and at the very least you can learn how to improve the feedback you give to others based on how they provided feedback to you.
Be Thoughtful About What You Can Change
Sometimes I take a few days to sit with feedback before I can find the part that applies to me. While it might be painful, it can be an opportunity to grow and improve. This doesn’t mean the provider is always correct. Be careful to not lose yourself in the words of others.
As humans we like to twist what we hear to fit ourselves or to make us feel better and when we do this, we can lose out on some actual good feedback. I highly recommend either taking notes while you’re receiving feedback or if you can’t right then, jot some notes down after the fact. It allows you to let that feedback sit, but not be forgotten.
React to the Feedback Provider
Take feedback in the spirit it was provided. In most situations, there is positive intent and a simple “thank you” suffices.
While I don’t love getting feedback, I work hard to listen and improve where I can because even if the feedback isn’t provided in an effective manner, they could point out some blind spots that you didn’t see before that could help you in a big way, so it’s best to be thankful for that.
Take Responsibility (Even if it’s not 100% your fault)
“It’s not my fault.” We rarely hear adults say those exact words. Most people know better by the time they reach their twenties. Does it mean people take responsibility for their actions? In our business, we see and hear excuses every day.
A good friend once told me, “There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth.”
Here’s what we think when we hear the following:
“I didn’t stay anywhere very long because the bosses at my past three jobs were all jerks.” If the common denominator is you, are you actually the cause? Are you difficult to work with?
“They never told me what to do and then said I wasn’t doing my job.” Were you persistent in asking for assistance – in a nice manner? Did you try to figure it out on your own?
“I never received any feedback.” Did you ask?
A man recently told us he hadn’t worked for months because they always chose other applicants. That seems reasonable until we learned where he was applying. We knew those employers and they hired almost anyone at that time. His negative attitude was so palpable that even a desperate employer said no.
While everything is not your fault, you do play a part in every interaction. Take responsibility for your contributions and all aspects of your life can be positively impacted!