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In our last article, we talked about how managers can improve the way they provide performance feedback to their employees or anyone else in their lives.Â This week, we are going to talk about how everyone can get better at accepting feedback.
Is it SARA or SARAH?
There are some normal responses that people have to receiving feedback.
Generally, people arenâ€™t use to receiving feedback.Â Therefore, it comes as a surprise when it is provided.Â If you remember from last week’s article, that is why we suggest that people ask permission to give feedback.Â It helps reduce or eliminate the element of surprise.
Depending on who is providing the feedback and whether or not they are seen as credible, the receiver may be annoyed by the feedback.Â A friend just told me a story about offering golfing tips and advice to a beginner when she was struggling to hit the ball.Â I asked the obvious question, “Did she ask for help?”Â The answer was no.Â Then I asked the next question, “Did you ask her if she wanted help?”Â Again, the answer was no.Â In that situation, it is very likely that the receiver was annoyed by the feedback that she received and she probably went straight to the rejection phase.
It is human nature to want to reject the feedback that you receive, especially when you may feel that it is a personal attack.Â How long people stay in the rejection phase is variable.Â For some, it may just require a few hours or days to process the feedback and move to the acceptance phase.Â For others, it may require receiving the same feedback from multiple sources or multiple occasions before they decide to accept it.
Finally, after having some time to process the feedback, most people are able to accept the feedback and choose how to modify or enhance their behavior accordingly.Â The only exception to this rule is a fatal flaw.Â Fatal flaws are either innate personality related issues or values/behaviors that we are personally unwilling to modify or change regardless of the feedback that we hear from others.Â For example, if you are an introverted individual and you receive feedback that you need to be more extroverted, it is unlikely that you will be able to successfully make that change.
And sometimes, Sarah spells her name with an “H”.Â Once you have accepted the feedback and made the decision to change, there may be times when you need to ask for help.Â This could be the case in the workplace or in your personal life.Â If you are committed to making a change, asking for help can go a long ways towards accomplishing your goal.Â Not only does it help hold yourself accountable for the change, but it demonstrates to others around you that you are committed to the change.
In an upcoming blog article, we will discuss how not to accept feedback as well.
If you find this information valuable, you may also enjoy Skywalk Group’s Leadership & Development Public Workshops.Â In addition to learning how to provide performance feedback, participants learn how to be an effective leader, improve their communication skills, and set goals and hold team members accountable for their performance.
Did you miss last week’s article?Â Read How to Provide Feedback to Employees (Or Anyone Else) now.