Giving and Receiving Feedback

There are many situations in life where we have to deal with feedback. This can be either giving feedback or receiving feedback. In both cases, there are certain things we need to keep in mind in order to get the required benefits from the feedback whether we are giving it or receiving it.

Giving Feedback

When giving feedback, a person has to make sure that his/her feedback is positive. This can be achieved through good soft skills. The feedback must not let the receiving person down or disappointed. In addition, we must keep in mind that several things can go wrong with the feedback. People may feel bad, get angry or react in a different way to what we intended.

Before giving feedback, a good thing is to check first if the person is ready for the feedback or not. When way to find out this is to ask “would you like some feedback?”. Based on the answer, you can decide whether to proceed with giving your feedback or not. If you decide to proceed with giving your feedback, then make sure to keep eye contact and be specific. In addition, always start with a positive statement and conclude with a positive statement. This is important in order to give a kind of appreciation to the work and efforts done by the person. Between those positive statements, give your feedback which can include alternatives. This method of having the feedback between two positive statements is called “sandwich” method.

 Receiving Feedback

Receiving feedback is never less important that giving feedback. There are certain skills associated with it. At the beginning, the most important thing is to check whether you are ready to receive the feedback or not. If not ready, then inform the person who is giving you the feedback. In addition, other extra skills when receiving feedback are:

  • Listen carefully and do not interrupt.
  • Only ask questions if you do not understand.
  • Do not argue or justify your actions.
  • Confirm what you have understood.
After receiving the feedback, do not forget to thank the giver for his/her views. In addition, reflect on the feedback and decide what to do.Finally, always keep in mind what Ken Blanchard said:

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

All the best…

* Source: “Soft Skills in Test Management” tutorial by Graham Bath.


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