Friday, October 17, 2008

So what do you REALLY think about getting feedback?

How do you feel about receiving feedback as a facilitator? Do you welcome it, or do you cringe?

Effective facilitators often understand the value of coaching and feedback, both giving and receiving, when it is done with care. But we are also used to it being given without so much care so have developed the skills to deflect the feedback we don’t agree with or appreciate. But, sometimes we need another point of view to understand how our skills and behaviors are really perceived by others. If we are willing to accept all forms of feedback, it can guide us to better performance. Those who are willing to accept feedback also become better at giving it. Truly a win-win situation.

So why do some of us get so nervous about feedback? Because we tend to worry more about negative messages than to expect positive ones. In fact, feedback can (and should!) be used to recognize success as much as improve performance. It can generate new ideas. What about ‘negative’ feedback? Most people who have received negative feedback eventually realize it is not so scary after all, and often very helpful.

Here are some tips for receiving facilitation feedback:

o Trust in the good intentions of the person giving you feedback. Even if they are not yet skilled in the process, they are making an effort to help you succeed by sharing their perspective. Remember, you always have the right to accept it or reject it – just make the decision AFTER considering it.

o Recognize that it’s normal to feel nervous. Many people are uncomfortable hearing things about themselves, whether positive or negative.

o Focus only on listening. Breathe. Pay attention to the full message, verbal and non-verbal.

o Take time to absorb feedback before you respond. Don’t dismiss it or react defensively. Use what you hear as a starting point for more conversation, if necessary.

o Make sure you understand. The feedback process requires effort from the receiver as well as the giver, so ask for clarification and examples if you need to. By the end of the conversation, both parties should be satisfied with the result.

o Be honest. If it’s really not the right time, or if you feel overwhelmed, say so. Be prepared to come back and start again later.

o Ask for feedback. Requesting a coaching session when you feel ready, can make it more comfortable for you.

o Look toward the future. Feedback can help you grow. If you choose not to accept feedback, not to change, will your current path take you where you want to go?

Need more training on how to receive feedback as a trainer? Our Master Facilitator Certification program can help you learn to hear better! For more information, vists us at or contact us at 604.521.5473 or<

No comments: