Murray Pullen
Written by
Murray Pullen

Receiving feedback can be uncomfortable. Especially the negative variety.

Many leaders do not want to give it, and many employees do not want to hear it.

But feedback is vital to growth and the employee experience. It helps us to identify our strengths, weakness and blind spots, and to better understand our role within our teams and organizations.

So, in order to develop and progress, we need to find ways to become more accepting of feedback. In this article, Axios Founder & CEO Jim VandeHei tells us how.

from the article for Axios:

Here’s my blunt feedback about taking blunt feedback:

Listen! Don’t make excuses or talk about the past. Actually, don’t talk at all. Soak up, with self-confidence and humility, what the person is saying and take time before responding. When they’re finished, you can say, “Good point” if you agree … or, “I hear you” if you want to think more about it. Or just: “Thank you.”

Assume positive intent. The selfish approach for the other person would be to suppress what they really think. If someone has the guts to be frank with you, embrace it and thank them. When Mike asks for critiques from people, he says: “I promise to take it in the spirit it’s intended.”

Don’t be defensive. That’s the worst response to helpful feedback. It makes the person giving it feel unheard — and less likely to shoot straight with you in the future.

Ask for it. You’re more likely to get feedback if you ask peers or superiors — in a sincere, humble, open-minded way — how you could be more effective. That projects strength, not weakness.

Act on it. If you show you’re responsive, you’ll get more input. And you’ll get better at life and on the job.

Case in point: Often when you’re giving a face-to-face review, people will validate and vindicate areas of weakness in the written eval.

“Jim doesn’t listen” or “Jim makes too many excuses” or “Jim doesn’t welcome constructive criticism.”

If I then start excuse-peddling or butt-covering, I’ve kind of made their point.

The bottom line: Life is about forward motion. Elicit and take feedback to make your personal and professional performance tomorrow better than today.

Read the full article, here.

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