By: Ayush Jain (LT MHPS)
Feedback, we know is an important process and yet it is something which if often kept at bay. Subordinates and superiors, each have their own set of reservations when it comes to feedback. Employees fear judgement and think feedback just dishes out criticism. Bosses think that any feedback shall only be met with anger or degradation in performance.
Result? Silence except for the mandatory annual review. This breeds a feedback gap rather than fostering an open and honest atmosphere. Instead of seeking feedback, most people employ guesswork and avoid the reality.
As a result, maladaptive behaviours such as denial, procrastination, feeling of foreboding and self-destruction manifest themselves. However, if individuals were to seek and construe feedback in a positive manner, it can prove useful as a tool for self-improvement and achieving greater goals.
Let’s illustrate the above with a few examples.
Adapting To Feedback
It majorly entails the following:
a) Identify the underlying emotions and analysing one’s maladaptive response to feedback.
b) Seek Support : Identify at least people, one with whom you trust and feel secure with. The other , in a counselling or coaching capacity who has some business experience.
c) Reconstruct the feedback in a positive light to let go of negative responses.
d) Deal with feedback by dividing the whole process of change into manageable chunks with a definitive timeline within which the same can be achieved.
What is essential is that is we must realize that it’s human tendency to resist change. So a major and conscious effort is required to make ourselves seek and adapt to feedback.
Getting the Right Feedback
Another very important aspect that we need to look at is that feedback need not always be critical. When feedback is received, we generally tend to focus on the criticism and the changes we need to make in order to act on it. We fail to take into account any positive feedback or any practices that have been given due praise.
It’s imperative that don’t lose focus of what one has been doing right and continue to practice without losing sight of the changes we need to do in order to reconstruct the negative feedback to impact us in a fruitful manner.
The feedback process should essentially involve the following four manageable steps:
1. Self -assessment
2. External feedback (direct and indirect) from:
a) Trusted colleagues and of course,
b) Your boss.
3. Absorbing the feedback.
4. Taking Action.
Rewards of Adaptation
Employees who generally seek feedback are generally the ones who are able to adapt well to it. They free themselves from the maladaptive responses and start acting positively to align themselves to the feedback given which in turn helps them achieve their goals and improve professional as well as personal relationships.