Why Getting and Giving Feedback At Work Will Make You More Successful
“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” –Bill Gates
The idea of constructive feedback at work may not leave you exactly filled with excitement. It can be hard to listen to someone tell you how you could improve, or what you didn’t do well. And the idea of going up to someone with a piece of criticism can be daunting. However, feedback can actually make you more productive, successful, and happy.
Studies have shown that constructive feedback produces greater opportunities for learning, and can help you succeed just as much, if not more, than flat-out praise.
You can’t improve if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong, and this lack of communication is unfortunately all-too common with HR directors who are afraid of confrontation. But studies also show that employees want this constructive feedback, and are willing to hear it in order to improve their performance. So, whether you’re giving or receiving the feedback, know that it’s helpful more than anything else, and most people will be open to it!
Of course, receiving negative feedback can be hard, and I don’t blame you if you end up feeling defensive or irritated. But it’s important to remember that this feedback will help you improve and be that much more able to succeed.
Here are a few ways you can open yourself up to feedback and avoid feeling upset at the potential criticism, as well as give the right kind of feedback to improve others.
· Be accepting and open.
Don’t assume just because someone is critiquing you that they dislike you or your work. Rather, approach feedback as a constructive note that you can take and work with to improve. Think about it this way: if you had something stuck in your teeth, you would want someone to tell you. You wouldn’t be mad at them for giving you that information! Feedback works the same way — It’s information that will help you improve and grow.
· Use it as an opportunity to clarify.
Maybe receiving certain feedback makes you realize there was something you didn’t understand. Now’s the time to clarify anything you’re confused about so you can start working even better than before.
· Think of it as a chance to show growth.
If you can take feedback and transform it into action, you’ll be more productive and make yourself that much more valuable.
Just because you know how to accept feedback doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to give it to your employers, your coworkers, or even your managers. There’s a nuance to constructive feedback that extends past simply telling someone what they did right or wrong. Here are a few ways you can give constructive feedback that will lead to success and improvement.
· Make it tangible.
Imagine if someone came up to you and said, “I think you could have done this better,” and then walked away. You’d be left feeling confused and probably a bit hurt. When giving feedback, it’s important to make it tangible so the other party can actually implement it.
For example, rather than saying “I heard complaints about your behavior,” try, “I’ve noticed that you’ve been engaging in this particular behavior… Here’s why that isn’t working.” The same goes for positive feedback as well. Just telling someone “good job” doesn’t help anyone grow or improve. Try telling them what it was they did that was so great, so they can continue to implement those strategies moving forward.
· Make it timely.
You always want to give feedback in a timely manner, so it’s given as close to the occurrence as possible. Don’t simply wait until end-of-year performance reviews to tell your employees what’s up! And don’t hesitate to talk to your coworkers or managers if you feel there’s feedback you want to offer.
· Keep it ongoing and consistent.
It would be incredibly confusing if your manager gave you a piece of feedback, and then a month later gave you the complete opposite critique. People can only adjust and improve their performances if the feedback they’re receiving is consistent. It should be ongoing as well, so the person constantly has the opportunity to improve their performance.
The idea of constructive feedback, either giving or receiving, has the potential to put anyone on edge. However, it’s important to remember that constructive feedback is all about helping everyone be the best version of themselves possible, so they can succeed at whatever they desire. Just take it from Bill Gates: Feedback is how we improve.
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