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Jul 10 2017

How to Get Better at Receiving Feedback


When you’re dealing with a tough problem or decision, do you turn to others for advice? Most of us instinctively ask at least one person for help. After all, two heads are better than one.

But not all feedback is created equal. To get the most out of the guidance you receive, use these three strategies.

1. Triangulate Your Feedback

Just like GPS uses three data points to determine your precise location, “feedback triangulation” requires calling on three separate people for their opinion on the same topic.

For example, maybe you’re not sure how to tackle a tricky problem at work. You might ask your supervisor, your peer, and a former coworker what they’d do in your situation.

Not only will they probably come up with a potential solution (or more) you haven’t thought of, you’ll also see if there’s a common answer.

Yet even if all three people give similar advice, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to take it. Your decision is ultimately in your hands.

2. Know Your Intentions

It’s common to go to someone else so they can “help you”—but you’re actually hoping they’ll just validate the conclusion you’ve already come to.

To give you an idea, imagine there are two possible ways you could handle an important but tedious task. You could take a shortcut (which might work but will be risky), or you could do it the proper way.

Although it’s clear the second path is better for your company and team, it’s tempting to take the second one.

Don’t request feedback under the guise of getting an objective answer if you’ll subtly be steering them toward what you want to hear. Before you ask for help, clarify your intentions. Are you open to any answer they might give?

3. Follow Up

People put a lot of time and mental energy into giving feedback and support, so make sure you show your appreciation.

First, thank them. Saying you’re grateful for their expertise or thoughtful guidance always works.

Second, follow up after some time has gone by so they know how everything went. Suppose they gave you advice on handling the challenging assignment from the first example. After the project is done, let them know how you applied their advice and what the results were.

When you approach them next time, they’ll be glad to help—they know you listen to their feedback and truly value it.

Of course, if they ask for feedback, you should definitely reciprocate. The most productive relationships have an element of give-and-take. You might even offer to share your feedback if they ever need it—it never hurts to leave the door open.

Are there any methods or strategies for receiving feedback that we missed? Give us a shout in the comments section.

About Signature Consultants, LLC

Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the ninth consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is named the 15th Largest IT Staffing Firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 29 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit https://www.sigconsult.com. Signature Consultants is the parent company to Hunter Hollis and Madison Gunn.

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