Receiving feedback in the workplace isn’t always easy. Sometimes it can be hard to take constructive (or negative) feedback and turn it into a positive response. If you have received feedback that was not up to your expectations, the last thing you want to do is cause an emotional outburst. Here are some top tips on how you can control yourself with negative feedback, avoid confrontation and utilize feedback to become a better employee.
- Let your boss express his or her ideas fully: always be sure to let your boss finish what she/he is saying and do your best to understand what is being said. Paraphrasing exactly what you are being told and making sure to let the other person finish is very important. This way you can demonstrate that you’ve heard their opinion and that they had full opportunity to express their opinion.
- Always evaluate feedback: Looking for particular reasons for a particular feedback you got is important. Be sure to look at the situation and examine some of the underlying aspects. If your boss has expressed feedback in an emotional outburst, for example, you may want to consider some of the other factors like he/she being under overwhelming pressure from management or poor conditions at home.
- Keep yourself in check: Responding to feedback with a negative response can put your job growth prospects in danger. Be sure to keep yourself in check with your nonverbal responses and with the emotion in your voice.
- Work to alter behavior: the only way that you can use negative feedback is to work at altering your behavior. Use feedback to find workplace goals and then avoid certain behaviors to become a more effective employee.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification: If you are unsure of the specifics of negative feedback be sure to ask a number of clarifying questions on how you can improve or specific actions that you are doing that could be causing inefficiency. A good boss will be able to identify a number of alternatives to your behavior or to your workplace practices.
Use these top tips when receiving feedback from your boss so that you can use it to the fullest extent.
Reading a magazine’s very last page and very last item sounded very familiar to me in a different context. It quoted Emma-Jayne Winson, the first female jockey to win the Queen’s Plate, Canada’s oldest thoroghbred race, in 2007. Here it is from May 2015 issue of Canadian Business.
Ask a jockey: Is it hard to build a relationship with a horse you’ve just met?
“When I took lessons, I remember complaining that I wanted to ride this horse every week, and I never got the same horse. I always got a differet one. But being on horses that maybe I didn’t get along with taught me to be a better rider and to communicate better with animals that weren’t necessarily on the same page. It’s amazing how you can assimilate something so simple into everyday life.”
Now relate this story to the times when you wanted certain key people in your team, but couldn’t; or had to operate with constraints that you felt were slowing you down. I believe every challenge shapes us to be bit more flexible, innovative, disciplined, collaborative and resilient.
One mantra helps instead of complaining or whining, it is change the mindset. Accept that it is not an ideal situation (rarely ideal conditions exist in any environment, be it business or social), but how can you make the best use of it and what way you are going to learn from it. Usually, all such circumstances become good stepping stones.
Stephen R Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is classic and most of us have read and learned from it.
This week, I listened to his another audio book The 7 Habits for Managers: Managing Yourself, Leading Others, Unleashing Potential. Its based on ‘classic 7 habits’ and with focus on management.
I would recommend to listen to this audio book to refresh 7 habits and learn how managers can apply these habits. If this is new to you, here are classic 7 habits and start with reading ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’
Habit 1 – Be proactive
Habit 2 – Begin with the end in mind
Habit 3 – Put first things first
Habit 4 – Think win-win
Habit 5 – Seek first to understand, then to be understood
Habit 6 – Synergize
Habit 7 – Sharpen the saw
These habits are to be used as pointers for our actions. We got to make sure that our employees understand the value of these habits and learn from these.
We, as a professional, are hired by organizations to deliver results and perform. As time passes, our daily job becomes our universe. We spend our energies resolving problems, improving processes, saving money and many other good things. Sometimes we are ignorant and sometimes we are so busy handling all the situations at the job, we do not realize that whole world has changed and we are still there. We find that new technologies, processes, ideologies, concepts and trends have taken over what we used to do. And when we realize, then blame our employer for not guiding us, showing us the right path, etc. Remember, we are professionals and professionals know all about their field of expertise.
When I see clueless people in the situations when their cheese (i.e. work) is moved (or gone), I tell them to stop complaining but learn the lesson from it and take action.
Here are 11 points I tell (and remind) people to avoid becoming obsolete –
- Subscribe to professional/trade magazines and journals and read ( or go to library, but stay up-to-date on what is happening).
- Bookmark and frequently checkout websites dealing with news & views related to your field of expertise.
- Read some good books on the subject. Check Amazon.com’s ratings and views before buying.
- Become member & get involved in professional organizations in your chosen field.
- Volunteer your time & services in your chosen field or for any good cause.
- Mentor and guide other people, help people grow, offer help selflessly.
- Attend seminars or conferences; it does not matter if you got to spend few hundreds from your own pocket and on yourself.
- Read some good self-help books on personal development and personal finance.
- Grow your network, if good people can not find you; you go out and find for your networking. Interaction is the key.
- Always keep learning new things in your chosen field, and
- Change with time.
You will find out many successful people are already doing these above mentioned things to grow their professional network and knowledge base.
I am certainly interested in what you got to say on this subject. Everyone has unique experience and lets share our thoughts and learn from each other.
Thank you for visiting and reading the post. I appreciate it. Have a good time.
I completed listening ‘The Toyota Way’ audio-book by Jeffrey Liker. The book talks about 14 priciples of Toyota Production Systems (TPS). There are many gems that I think could be of use in Information Technology Project Managment. Here are 14 TPS management principles –
1. Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of short-term financial goals.
2. Create a continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.
3. Use “pull” systems to avoid overproduction.
4. Level out the workload (heijunka). (Work like the tortoise, not the hare.)
5. Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.
6. Standardized tasks and processes are the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.
7. Use visual control so no problems are hidden.
Continue reading “The Toyota Way – 14 Management Principles”