3 Mistakes in Receiving Feedback

Receiving feedback is tough. We absolutely need it if we are to grow and improve. Yet, if you’re like me, you hate receiving critical feedback. I want to share 3 common mistakes made in receiving feedback. And 4 steps for how to effectively receive feedback.

Many people are not skilled in giving feedback. They say inappropriate things or are too emotional and not objective enough. Their feedback might not be entirely true.

The key to growth, however, is to look for what parts of the feedback might be true and use that for your growth. You may find that the feedback is more true than you first thought.

I’ve noticed three mistakes in receiving critical feedback, and 4 steps to effective respond to feedback. First the mistakes:

3 Mistakes in Receiving Feedback

1. Counter attack. Upon receiving critical feedback, we suddenly feel the need to correct the other person’s behavior, which is clearly worse than our own.

2. Disregard it. Usually we don’t disregard feedback to the person’s face, especially if the person is someone we want to impress. But we think to ourselves, “Well, that’s your opinion.”

3. View it as a perception problem. It’s not that we are actually guilty of anything in the feedback, it is that the other person does not perceive us correctly. We believe our intentions to be good, so therefore our actions just need to be better understood.

How to Effectively Receive Feedback

Be willing to take an honest look at yourself from the other person’s perspective. Own those things which you can change. If the feedback doesn’t not ring true to you after some reflection, then move on.

Remember, the other person may be nervous in giving the feedback. Give grace and show thanks. Here are 4 steps how to effectively receive feedback:

1. Pay attention to the giver so they know you value the feedback.

2. Rephrase the feedback and clarify by ask for examples.

  • “So, you thought I was too harsh with Peter at the meeting, is that correct?”
  • “Just so I understand, could you please give me an example of when I’ve been disrespectful to the staff?”

3. Thank the person for the feedback, even if it wasn’t delivered well.

  • “Thank you for bringing this to my attention.”
  • “I appreciate your concern for the team.”

4. Tell how you are going to use the feedback.

  • “I will consider this.”
  • “I will work to tone down my sarcasm during our meetings.”

Critical feedback isn’t always easy to hear. Feedback is important to any leader’s growth. Without it we are blind to everything outside our own perception. Using the 4 steps for how to effectively receive feedback we can turn a potential negative experience into a positive one.

Question: What are your tips for effectively receiving feedback? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

    Keith is President of Creative Results Management. He helps busy leaders multiply their impact. Keith is the author of several books including The COACH Model for Christian Leaders.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. You own your comments but give me permission to use them. See My Comments Policy. Read my Permissions Policy to know how you can use my posts.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    3 thoughts on “3 Mistakes in Receiving Feedback

    1. Well said, Keith. This sort of openness is a key factor in our growth. I’ve found that even when the feedback “misses the mark”, taking that opportunity for self-inspection often results in some other insight into where I need to change.

    2. Say to you “be quiet” and listen, dont be ready to answer. Also give and recive feedback in a neutral place, so the enviroment around the conversation will be ”open-minded” and both will be more relaxed. At the finish of feeback both take notes of the action plan.