Effective Feedback is a Two-Way Street

Effective Feedback is a Two-Way Street


Over the course of my career, I’ve been on both the sending and receiving sides of feedback. I’ve come to know that continuous improvement requires that you be able to do both well.


Training, preparation, and practice are all essential in building feedback skills.


Many leaders seek skill development in delivering feedback. They also benefit by preparing for various reactions to their feedback. Our firm does a lot of training and development for various groups ranging from front line associates to physicians and executives. We frequently work with leaders on how to give feedback.  Giving effective feedback requires clarity, respect, and emotional intelligence. This will ensure key points are communicated and received effectively.


 How do you react when you are on the receiving end of feedback?


Many people learn how to give feedback, but few are taught skills to respond to feedback graciously. How you respond can be a matter of individual personality and experience.


It seems there is little training and supporting in helping people to RECEIVE feedback. My observations show more focus is given to the sender and little, if any, to the receiver. Working on one without the other can set you up for failure. Why? Because if the recipient hears feedback as criticism, the result will be defensiveness, anger or hurt feelings. This is not effective feedback. But if the receiver hears feedback as helpful information, the result can be motivational and clarifying.


To build a culture of continuous improvement, you need to help people give and receive feedback.


When individuals within an organization reach emotional intelligence to receive feedback graciously, and see it as an opportunity to improve, it will elevate the entire team. This is key to effective feedback. Getting to that point takes conscious effort. If we spend as much effort helping people learn to receive feedback as we do in giving it then we will make advancements much more quickly.


Creating a culture of continuous improvement means becoming one where everyone takes ownership for the good of the organization. A culture where everyone holds themselves and others accountable for effective feedback.


Want Baird Group’s 12 tips for giving and receiving feedback? Click Here!


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