Much of coaching and training around the topic of “feedback” focuses on how to give feedback. What about receiving feedback? Recently, I was facilitating a conversation between Max and Morgan. Max was giving feedback to Morgan. Morgan quietly listened and then asked questions for clarity and understanding. All was going well. As the coach, I was proud of Morgan, and I was confident the conversation would end with both parties feeling good about the “clearing of the air.”
Then something happened. Morgan started questioning the credibility of the feedback. What concerned me was not whether the feedback was true. I was concerned that Max would walk away thinking the conversation was a waste of time and energy.
Following the feedback session, I had a meeting with Morgan. During the conversation, I shared something I believe about receiving feedback – “Perception is more important than the truth!” Perception is reality. I also shared three simple guidelines to receiving feedback:
- Listen – be completely present to hear what is being said
- Reflect back – repeat back the feedback that was shared (letting the person know you heard what was said)
- Say “Thank you.”
Morgan was cordial and appreciative (I think), then said, “I wish you would have shared the guidelines before the meeting!” Hmm, feedback for me?! I replied, “You are right! I should have set you up better before the feedback was shared.” She replied, “Yes!” I responded, “Thank you!”