Smart Feedback Management: 7 steps to take feedback the right way

In business and also in private life, it is normal to get all types of feedback from time to time. Sometimes it is outspoken, sometimes you get it indirect. It does not matter if it is positive or negative feedback, the most important in my opinion is to take it the right way - a structured one – and to use it for your development.

This is what I learned and how I process feedback today:

1. Take the feedback without discussing it. Just listen, take the person serious, and say “Thank you!”. If possible, try to write the feedback down to look it up later.

2. In case of negative feedback, do not defend yourself. Accept the opinion of the other person – this does not mean to agree to the feedback itself – and ask for ideas to improve from the other ones point of view. Try to benefit from the feedback without being offended.

3. Explain that you will think about the feedback to improve yourself and – again – say “Thank you!”.

4. Take some minutes with yourself to lean back, breath, and think about the feedback. Try to filter the feedback, delete all emotions and identify the main points of the feedback. For complex feedback, I recommend to use a mind map to structure your thoughts.

5. Decide, if you want to do something about these main points. If yes, think about measures to improve and integrate these measures into your planning or your todo-list.

6. Think about a response to the person who provided the feedback. If you developed measures for improvement, the person might be happy to hear about it.

If you can not understand the feedback, decide if it makes sense to re-contact the person to explain that you thought about it but can not comprehend the given opinion. – This can be the starting position for a more detailed feedback to think about. But be careful to avoid an infinite loop. ;-)

7. Finally, I recommend to archive the feedback. If you scan it, you can “dispose” the paper version of the feedback literally to complete feedback processing.

What do you think about this procedure? Can you provide me feedback to improve? ;-)

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