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Receiving Feedback

15 January 2007

Why is feedback so important?

There are many answers to that question but the most important answer must be that you are able to receive valuable information about what You need to improve and in that way also develop your self.Giving feedback can sometime be difficult but receiving feedback can also be difficult, but in another way.

To receive feedback is about communication, but you need to stay focused and quiet. When the person who gives feedback talks, you need to stay quiet and listen and use your body language to confirm that you are listening and follow his or hers feedback.To receive feedback can often trigger a need for you to explain or defend your self. More than often will your perception of the feedback differ from the person who gives the feedback. Try to stay quiet until the giving-person is finished and then you are able to ask questions to clarify the feedback. Your body language should signal that you are interested and open to receive information. In other words, do not lean backwards into the chair with your arms crossed. That is not a good way of saying that you are willing to receive feedback.

Remember that feedback, or constructive criticism, is a way for you to learn, grow and improve your performance.How well you receive the feedback can be divided into five different stages;

1. Denial. You hardly listen to the person who gives the feedback and interrupt with saying: “This does not concern me” This is a very immature way of receiving feedback. If you, as a giver of the feedback, meet this kind of person you have to work slowly and have a lot of patience.

2. Defence. You immediately start to defend your self. “No, this was not the way it was.” Or you blame somebody else.

3. Explanation. You start to explain your behaviours. A person in this stage often listen a bit more before interrupting the feedback.

4. Understanding. You listen to the person who gives feedback and really try to understand what the other person says. This is were you and your team should be to have a fair chance of develop as a team and individuals.

5. Change. You listen, ask questions, try to understand and also change your behaviours. It is your own choice to change.

Remember that to give and receive feedback is a vital competence for you as a project manager. Try it, try it often and improve your ability to give and receive Feedback. It will excel your self as a project manager.

/Johan Beijar  








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