“Feedback”

Whenever I think about feedback there are few questions that come to my mind -

  • What constitutes a good feedback?
  • Why we should give feedback to somebody, is it really important?
  • Do I really need feedback from somebody?
  • How can it help in improving my learning or my productivity as a professional?

So, recently I started reading books, blogs and listened to few podcasts and finally, I got the answers to all my questions and I think this article would definitely help somebody like me to understand the purpose of sharing and receiving feedback. So, here we go -

What is feedback and why is it important?

We often think “feedback” is something which we only get in our 1:1 sessions or performance reviews. I think it’s sphere is much more than that. It’s an ongoing process. We usually give feedback to everyone around us, not just those who report to us. It includes colleagues, managers, family, friends. It happens every day, with everyone in the company and sometimes we don’t even realize that we are giving feedback.

When you let someone know of what you think or express your feelings about what they are doing, that’s when you are giving feedback.

It’s important because one wants an organization to foster open communication and a healthy work environment, where he/she can feel productive, cared for, and valued.

However, sharing feedback is just one side of the coin. Receiving feedback and introspecting on the same is as important as sharing feedback with someone. By this you can easily know who you are and what you want to be in the future, and if, you start taking all the feedback seriously, trust me it will take you much closer to where you want to be.

It’s a kind of situation where you are standing in front of mirror and all the makeup tools are in front of you,where you can see exactly, who you are and if you want to look good, you can use those tool and apply on yourself and suddenly you start looking beautiful.

It will give you the magic wand tool where you can select all the negative things in your life in single click and start brushing them with the positivity. (Magic wand tool: You can select single color in one click )

I am sure, now you can understand what feedback is and why it’s so important. Now, let’s talk about the kinds of feedback. And I think they are only two –  POSITIVE and NEGATIVE. So, today I am gonna talk about how give negative feedback and how to receive feedback.

How we should give negative feedback?

I often see when someone gives the negative feedback, they become so angry or pissed off that they don’t want to understand /see another person’s emotion and are unable to read his/her expression.

So, do we really want to do that? Instead of motivating the person and letting him know how to do that, we are demotivating him, I think this is totally opposite of what we want to do!

While giving the negative feedback we should always think that too much of negative feedback can damage that person’s confidence and it would be really demotivating for him, eventually further lowering his/her productivity. So, by giving the negative feedback, we should first think about the way to rectify the situation because feedback is about enabling the success and producing better results and to solve this purpose, we should definitely specify the point and instead of seeing his limits. We should open all other doors and look for solutions, so, that he can look beyond the situation and come up with something great!

You should tell that person that where he can do better or differently, and even first you focused on the negative part always try to find out the positive thing which he has done and while giving feedback you should not forget to recognize the positive feedback, because it’s really important for him to focus what went wrong.  Let’s just try to motivate him and make a solid balance between what’s good and what needs improvement while giving feedback. So, that he can understand what exactly he needs to do when he leave your desk.

I know sometimes its not easy to stay positive. It would be very difficult, especially when someone is  full with negativity. When they don’t meet deadlines and just because of them we had to face some  huge problems.  At  that time it would be really hard to smile and say “I am feeling great today” But trust me it’s really important to try.

It’s not about what do you want to say, its about how you want to say. Also, having a positive attitude does not mean you are ignoring those problems and not caring about. It means you are facing those problems creatively and work with him to find the better solutions.

So, in short stay positive and open minded while giving feedback, especially while sharing a negative feedback.

How to receive feedback?

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mkuram/5961100771/

Think for a moment, whenever you reporting manager comes to your desk and tells you that “Whenever you free, please come to my cabin, I really want to discuss something very important with you about the project you are currently working on” and as soon as manager leaves your desk we start thinking “ooh shit! I must have done something wrong, today is going to my bad day” your heart starts beating faster, you would starting thinking about so many negative outcomes.

So, if you want to hear feedback properly, you should start thinking positively first. You should not take feedback personally, instead of going with the tone of person or the relationship between you and the person, you should think why he is telling so? Why he is making an effort to collect all those words and putting it together and trying to give to you? Why it’s important for him to take some time out with his busy schedule to point out these things?

We should think,how we can use his advice or feedback to make our life/work better. Instead of taking it personally, defending ourselves, and jumping to discuss those things right away, it’s really important to keep focus on the work not the person and If you think you are not able to understand things properly you can ask him to get into details. So, that it would help you.

Again stay positive and open minded while receiving feedback. So that you can learn something about yourself and use it in your life.