How To Master Receiving Feedback

How To Master Receiving Feedback

7th Nov 2023

Providing and receiving feedback can be an uncomfortable experience that people often try to avoid. However, feedback is of significant importance, and improving your skills in this area will yield several advantages:

  1. It offers an accurate assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, enabling you to leverage your strengths and work on areas that need improvement.
  2. It provides others with the opportunity to capitalize on their strengths and address their developmental needs.
  3. Feedback reduces miscommunication and fosters open, honest conversations, enhancing the quality of relationships and trust.
Embracing feedback from various sources is the most effective way to understand your true strengths and areas for development.

Improve your ability to Give and Receive feedback

Improving your ability to give and receive feedback will accelerate your personal growth, support the development of those you interact with, and strengthen trust in all your relationships, whether in professional settings or within your social circle.

It’s crucial to clarify that the feedback we’re discussing here is informal and occurs on a daily basis. This is different from the periodic organizational performance review, which serves a different purpose. An annual performance review should never replace ongoing, informal feedback conversations.

Effectively engaging in the feedback process involves two distinct components: giving feedback and receiving feedback. It’s not just about offering feedback to others but also about being receptive to feedback from others.

Active listening is a key aspect of receiving feedback. This type of listening involves:

  • Paying close attention to what you’re hearing, preventing your mind from drifting and formulating a response.
  • Providing the speaker with an opportunity to confirm that their message aligns with their intentions.
  • Summarizing the key message and, if applicable, the associated emotional tone, in a concise manner.

Receiving feedback involves a five-step model:

  1. Micro-active listening: Summarize each part of the feedback as it is presented, allowing the speaker to add or clarify as needed.
  2. Macro-active listening: After the speaker finishes, provide an overview of the entire conversation, including the emotional aspects.
  3. Thank and acknowledge the feedback giver, regardless of your agreement with the feedback. Building a reputation for valuing feedback encourages others to share constructive input.
  4. Ask for permission to probe if the feedback is unclear or vague. Seek clarification and further details to turn lower-quality feedback into high-quality feedback.
  5. Probe to understand by asking questions that clarify specific behaviours and actions related to the feedback.

Developing a mindset for receiving feedback is essential for personal and professional growth. Embracing feedback from various sources is the most effective way to understand your true strengths and areas for development. Recognize three realities that encourage embracing feedback:

  1. All feedback is based on perception, reflecting the giver’s biases and filters. It’s crucial to solicit feedback from multiple sources to identify common themes for potential action.
  2. People already have their opinions about you, whether you ask for feedback or not. Asking for feedback provides the opportunity to hear and accept these opinions without judgment, even if you don’t agree with them.
  3. You are not obligated to act on every piece of feedback. What matters most is that the other person feels heard. Receiving feedback without judgment is valuable for building relationships.

If your workplace has a culture that discourages sharing feedback, you can take the initiative by asking for feedback directly, using well-phrased questions like, “What’s one thing you’d like to see me do more of, less of, or differently?” Over time, you can request multiple items of feedback.

In summary, giving and receiving feedback offers substantial benefits for personal and professional growth, as well as for building stronger relationships with others.


Finally, if you’re looking for assistance in analysing your strengths & weaknesses so you can craft an exceptional CV to get your dream job. PE Global are here to help, so please get in touch or email

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