Feedback is an essential aspect of professional growth and development. It allows us to understand how we are perceived by others and identify areas for improvement. However, receiving feedback from your manager can be daunting, especially if it feels negative or critical. Keep in mind that your manager is giving you this feedback so that you have the chance to grow, and let’s explore ways to understand feedback from your manager and use it to improve your performance.
Take it In: Your manager's feedback is not a personal attack, but rather an opportunity to understand how you can improve your performance. Avoid getting defensive or taking the feedback personally. If it’s in person, listen actively and ask questions to clarify any confusion. If it’s written, read thoroughly and absorb before responding. If you need to take time to formulate questions, that's OK! Just make sure to respond in a timely manner to show that you've seen the notes and give a perspective on how you are applying them.
Offer Your Perspective & Consider Theirs: Be respectful and try to stick with facts. Ask yourself: do I object to this feedback because it is incorrect, or because it is hard to hear? If you disagree with the feedback, avoid shifting the focus to critiquing the feedback-giver and use data to share your position.
Understand the context of the feedback: Ask your manager to provide specific examples of your behavior or actions that led to the feedback. This will help you understand the situation better and identify patterns in your behavior so that you can make action-oriented change to correct the behavior.
Assume Positive Intent: It's also important to focus on the message, not the messenger. Remember that your manager's feedback is not a reflection of their personality but rather their perception of your performance. Their job is to ensure that you grow in your role; they are giving you this feedback to help you get to where they believe you can be, so try shifting the perspective to a positive and growth oriented mindset.
Leverage feedback to make changes: Come up with a plan of action to address the issues raised in the feedback and set goals for yourself. Regularly check in with your manager to discuss your progress and gather additional feedback.
Understanding feedback from your manager is crucial for professional growth and development. By approaching feedback with an open mind, understanding the context, focusing on the message, and using it to make improvements, you can turn feedback into a valuable tool for success.