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Dealing with feedback

Giving and receiving feedback is an area of special attention. Feedback can be received as negative criticism and positive feedback can be difficult to accept. Nevertheless, feedback moments are crucial. Giving and receiving honest, open and relevant feedback is important for creating trust and connection between people and groups (e.g. work teams). Learning how to give and receive feedback can help everyone grow.

Tips for receiving feedback:

  1. Be open to feedback. Consider that you may be able to learn and grow from it.
  2. Listen actively to the feedback and try to view it from a distance and reflect objectively on it. If necessary, ask for an explanation.
  3. Repeat the feedback to make sure you are on the same page.
  4. Show appreciation. The person giving feedback often finds it difficult to give feedback.
  5. Do you feel attacked by the feedback? Don't become defensive. Try to understand the other person's concern and enter into a dialogue. Try to find a solution together.
  6. Do you disagree with the feedback? Tell calmly why you disagree and let go of the feedback after the discussion.
  7. Do you agree with the feedback? Learn from the feedback.
  8. Dare to say that you want to think about the feedback if you like.
  9. Dare to accept positive feedback, compliments, and say 'thank you' without waving away or disproving the compliment.

Tips for giving feedback:

  1. First check whether the other person benefits from your feedback. Can your comments help the other person?
  2. Provide an open and safe environment.
  3. Make sure the feedback is up to date and provide it as soon as possible. The more concrete you can be ensures that the chance of recognition by the other person is greater.
  4. Describe what you have observed, do not give interpretations. Come up with concrete facts.
  5. Give feedback from the 'I'-form. Avoid reproaches.
  6. Involve feedback on behavioural aspects. Do not say 'You are doing this wrong', but describe the effect of his or her behaviour. For example: 'Your attitude sometimes has the following effect on me: … '.
  7. Do not forget to give people compliments!. Alternate between complimentary and corrective feedback. Never give only corrective feedback.
  8. Ask if the other person has understood the feedback and give the other person the space to react and express his or her vision.
  9. Make sure you come to a solution together and give suggestions for changing behaviour.\

Author: Nina de Rooij, PSV lifestylecoach