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Beth's Quick Management Tips - Receiving Feedback

Updated on August 31, 2019
Beth Pipe profile image

I'm a Learning & Development Consultant. For 25 years people have given me feedback every single day. This is how I handle it.

Are you a five star performer?

Quick question: Do you read online reviews before you buy a vacuum cleaner? A toaster? A book? Thought so. Most of us do. These days reviews are part of our every day lives and we don't make many decisions without checking out what at least one other person had to say about it.

Are online reviews trustworthy? A topic we could debate for a *very* long time - as a professional writer I am aware that there are places which will pay for good reviews, or send me products with the implication that I should give them a good review. A couple of places got a bit uppuity when I told them I couldn't, in all honesty, give them a good review, but I digress.

Imagine that you could give your boss an online review. I can't imagine it would go down a storm with most managers, but why not? It's perfectly acceptable to take up references on a prospective employee but a career move is a big deal, and yet I never get to take references on my prospective manager.

And if organisations brought in online/ public reviews for their managers, would it speed up the way they dealt with managers who persistently underperform and drive good staff away? Who knows...

Is it a 'Yes' from you?

Would you feel comfortable with work colleagues giving you public 'Amazon Style' reviews?

See results

"You'd read a review of a vacuum cleaner, or a toaster, before you bought it, so why not a manager?"

Being on the receiving end...

I don't know about you, but I can often become defensive is someone is giving me improvement feedback. My initial reaction is to put up barriers or offer excuses, neither of which actually help to resolve the issue or enable me to develop and become more self aware.

Here are the things try to do whenever I'm on the receiving end of improvement feedbacl.

  1. I listen carefully to what they’re saying and ask questions to clarify - if they don't offer, them I ask for specific examples. (In a nice way!)
  2. I say "Thank You" - how easy have you ever found it to give someone imprvoement feedback? Exactly. It's scary, so if someone has taken the time and trouble to do it, then the least I can do is thank them.
  3. I chew on it. Like I said above, my initial reaction is rarely positive and things I flatly deny in the heat of the moment often become more apparent when I've had time to think it over for a while...
  4. I don't take their word for it. We're never going to please everyone and perhaps that peson just doesn't like me. I seek out a second opinion and bounce it off trusted friends.
  5. I try to be as self aware as I can be. We're all annoying to someone and we'll never be perfect, so I do what I can to recognise the impact of my behaviours on others. This is a great, free, self awareness tool based on MBTI.

"Thank them for the feedback"

I'm pretty sure that any lawyer worth their salt would advise an organisation against a move as rash as public ratings for managers - far too much scope for lawsuits, but I bet it would drive up website traffic as we checked out what everyone else had to say about our ex's!.

So, here's my challenge to the braver managers reading this. Instead of a formal review why not ask your team to write you Amazon style product reviews? It's a pretty scary thought for most folks, but if you recoil at the very idea of it, then perhaps you should be asking yourself why?

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2019 Beth Pipe


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