How to Recognize it as a Gift and Accept it with Grace to Receive More of What you Want!
Instead of seeing feedback as negative, look at it as a GIFT that you accept with GRACE.
G – Gather information – Instead of waiting for a performance review, be proactive in seeking out feedback that could help you grow your career.
If you’re new to the job don’t hesitate to ask your manager, “If you ever had an employee who did superior work, what did he or she do that stood out?” or after a few months of working you might ask, “Now that I’ve been here a few months, is there anything you would prefer I do differently?”
The only way to know if you’re making your clients, customers and co-workers happy is to ask – and then listen to what they say! “If you had a magic wand and could change anything about the way I do business, or the way I communicate with you, what would that be?” If they try to blow off the question, warmly say, “I truly want to grow my business as quickly as possible and am looking for any insight you can provide.” Being both kind and persistent will usually get them to open up and you’ll receive priceless information to determine your level of service.
G – Go to the Source It can be helpful to gain awareness from outsiders, but when it comes to feedback it’s best to go directly to the source. Why? The person who has observed and worked with you usually has the most insight.
R – Remain Calm It’s easy to become upset or get defensive when comments make you uncomfortable. As a recovering perfectionist I can recall wanting to crawl out of my skin when faced with constructive feedback. Rather than argue or justify your position, do whatever it takes to stay calm. Pinch the web between your thumb and index finger, take a sip of water or squeeze your buttocks (yes, that’s right!). Any of those actions will take you from the right to the left side of your brain where you can logically, rather than emotionally, receive the message.
A – Ask Questions If something doesn’t make sense to you, ask a question. If you’re told you’re not a team player, ask for details: “Can you give me an example of when you thought that to be the case?”
C – Clarify & Confirm Always feed back the information to confirm understanding. Use phraseology such as, “So if I hear you correctly,” and follow it up with, “Is that correct?”
E – Express Thanks Consider the feedback a gift to help you grow, and recognize the courage it took to share. Tell the individual, “You’ve really given me something to think about. Thanks.” You don’t necessarily have to agree with what someone said to give thanks. Approaching it this way leaves the impression that you are open minded and seriously considering their input.
I – Immediately Write It Down Too often, due to our feelings, we blow others comments out of proportion. By writing it down, word for word, and reviewing it a few days later when you’re less emotional, you will be more likely to hear the intent of the message.
F – Focus on the Message Have I heard similar feedback before? Do I respect the individual sharing the information? If not, don’t take it personally and move on. If so, look deeper to see the truth in the message.
T – Take Action Ask yourself, “What are my takeaways from this conversation?” “What am I going to do differently as a result of this information?” “To receive healthy feedback and do nothing with it is a waste of everyone’s time and energy. Instead, make a commitment to yourself to begin to change in the smallest of ways.
Straight, genuine feedback is the greatest gift you can receive to keep you on your path to greatness. Be vulnerable, ask others for their observations, accept their comments with grace and enjoy the bounty that comes your way!