Archive for September, 2009

Performance Review Time – Hearing feedback

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Posted September 04, 2009 09:02 AM Hide Post
Giving and receiving feedback are two different sets of behaviors. Many resources are available for giving feedback effectively. Yet there is little to help us prepare to receive and participate in these conversations, and not dread them. It’s hard enough for people to give feedback and many don’t do it very well. You can help them get better at it and relieve some of your own discomfort. Here are some tips for constructively receiving feedback and use it to be more successful in your work and relationships. The key is for both people to feel they have been heard and understood. Getting to agreement is another step.

Conversation killers:
• Defending yourself or actions may be a natural reaction, but does not allow you to understand the other person’s perspective. Everyone has their own lenses, and you don’t have to agree, but it helps to understand their perspective to respond effectively.
• Dismissing the feedback – If you are thinking, “They haven’t seen me in any other context,” or “They are seeing me through what they want me to be, not who I really am,” consider the source. Also consider how this same aspect might be seen by others.
• Blaming others – “It’s not my fault…” Accept that you were dependent on others, and consider how you approached them with your request for help and how you may have contributed to the failure.
• Rationalizing -“Yes but…” Justifying your behavior as an atypical response necessitated by a particular situation or series of events won’t help to prevent it from happening again. Recognize the situation and be aware when it may be likely to re-occur so you can handle it better.
• Disagreeing – Telling the person why they’re feedback is wrong will not work. A better approach is to ask for examples and suggestions.
• Interrupting or finishing the other person’s thoughts gives the impression that you don’t really want to hear what they have to say. It comes across as dismissive and rude, rather than expedient.
• Sulking, or withdrawing from the person giving the feedback afterward will not encourage them to work with you in the future. Although initially appealing, this is not constructive.
• Ruminating on Feedback – If the feedback is less than glowing avoid the temptation to re-enact the conversation to a friend as this only re-engages your emotions. Do talk about it with someone else, but make sure you’re emotionally detached first.

• Keep some perspective. If feedback relates to a specific instance or to one part of your life,
keep it in context. Now you know about it and you have the opportunity to do something about it.
• Evaluate the information before responding. Feedback is given through the other person’s
perspective. It may tell you more about the person saying it than it does about you. If you
don’t agree or understand, ask for an example.
• Make your choice how to use the information. Feedback can be a gift allowing you to grow and develop as a person, in a job or in a relationship. It is ultimately your choice how to act, or not, upon feedback received.
• Giving or receiving feedback can be an emotional roller-coaster if you let it be. Learn how to receive feedback gracefully, giving you the emotional head-space to learn and grow from the experience.

Our most frequent complaint in workplace surveys is “lack of communication.” When communication and feedback is offered, be ready to not just hear, but listen to understand their point of view. Only then can you decide your best response.

Does it Matter? Is It Interesting? Do I like doing it?

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Daniel Pink’s 18 min video on is a great example of how extrinsic motivators (such as financial incentives) have a narrow band of effectiveness and often work in reverse.  By tapping into the intrinsic motivations of autonomy, mastery and purpose we can change not only how we do business, but how we work toward a better world. It’s worth a look:“>