Positive Feedback

Most people cringe when they hear the word feedback, and positive feedback seems impossible. “Would you like some feedback?” “Let me give you some feedback.” It feels uncomfortable to deliver and can be difficult to hear.

Receiving positive feedback without taking it personally is easier said than done. The following are 6 things to consider when hearing and accepting feedback.

Assume positive intent

Assume that the feedback is positive feedback, and that the person offering the feedback is motivated to help you improve. Consciously try not to feel attacked.

Q.T.I.P. (Quit Taking It Personally)

Suspend your emotions and take the feedback as objectively as possible.

Positive Feedback means hanging up the gloves

Hang up your gloves and listen with open ears

Listen for the facts or behaviors that you can modify or change to get better.

Paraphrase the feedback back to ensure you understand.

Ask questions and dig deeply into the feedback to get a greater understanding of the perspective that led to the feedback.

Always thank them for their feedback

Sincerely thank the person for sharing their perspective and positive feedback.

Find the truth in the positive feedback

Reflect deeply on the other person’s perspective and positive feedback. The opportunity to improve comes from fully understanding the other person’s perspective.

Things to consider with positive feedback.

  • It isn’t possible for you to control the other person’s choice of words, body language, and tone of voice.
  • Nearly everyone struggles giving positive feedback. Help them by assuming they mean the best.
  • After you’ve embraced the other person’s feedback, and the other person understands that you value it, give them feedback on how they gave you feedback. They might need the help too.
  • In most circumstances, rescheduling a meeting until after your emotions have been calmed is acceptable and wise.

Some of the most difficult positive feedback to hear can be the most valuable to you in your career. Breathe deeply, feel calm, and embrace the opportunity to improve.

About the Author – James Davis

James Davis has a decade of experience as both an internal and external learning and change consultant. He has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership, Training and Development from the University of Denver. James is certified in several development tools. He teaches several classes for Mission Critical Systems.

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For more management techniques see our Management Tips.