Friday, 10 February, 2012

Takeaways from Training Program on "Giving and Receiving Feedback"

A couple of weeks back, I attended one-day in-house training program on "giving and receiving feedback". Mr. Viswanathan V delivered this program extremely well. Following are my key takeaways:

  • Make feedback specific (e.g. "When you , it's a problem because . What I would like you to do in future is )
  • Take responsibility while giving feedback; let it be YOUR feedback, based on YOUR information/observation.
  • Give balanced feedback. Positive feedback boosts morale while negative feedback improves performance.
  • Avoid delay. 
  • Make your expectations clear to your subordinates in the beginning so that you can refer to those expectations while giving your feedback.
  • Link your feedback to company goals and suggest actions that can contribute to those goals.
  • If the person receiving feedback, cries then give him/her time and space to express and then proceed gradually. If her/she gets angry then show empathy and partial acknowledgement before proceeding further.
  • If the person receiving feedback disagrees with the facts in the feedback then provide examples/evidence. On other hand, if he/she questions whether there is any problem itself then specify the consequences of his/her behavior.
  • While receiving feedback, adhere to following rules:
    • Try to control your defensiveness.
    • Listen to understand.
    • Try to suspend judgement.
    • Summarize and reflect what you hear.
    • Ask questions to clarify.
    • Ask for examples and stories that illustrate the feedback.
    • Never hurt their ego.
    • Not every feedback is correct.
    • Be approachable.
    • Check with others to determine reliability of feedback.
  • If you get no feedback, then actively seek feedback from everyone you interact (boss, peers, juniors, clients, etc.).
  • If you get feedback in public then ask for feedback in private.
  • If you get rambling feedback then summarize and/or ask pointed questions.
  • If you get vague feedback then ask probing questions.
Thanks to Mr. Viswanathan, for sharing his wisdom during this training program. Also the films shown were quite informative. I have been recommending this program to my company colleagues since giving/receiving feedback is very much integral part of our work.

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