Part Four: Feedback Received, Now What?

If you feel that the feedback is accurate and you understand the requested changes, jump on it! When you next speak with your boss, mention improvements that you are making based on her feedback. For example, “Theresa, I have been working on my attention to detail – you may have seen a difference in the most recent marketing reports. Again, thanks for helping me in this area.” With this proactive method, every boss will be eager to give you feedback and support your professional development.

But what do we do if we disagree with the feedback? Hopefully, you stay calm and receptive, and you ask lots of questions to eliminate misunderstandings and miscommunications with your boss about your performance. While it’s unfortunate, it happens. They say one thing, and we hear something different. The best you can do is internalize what they say they’re looking for from you and demonstrate that you aim to improve your performance.

Another scenario is that the feedback is mostly positive, yet we fixate on one or two negative pieces.  In this case, it’s a good time to do some active soul searching, try reaching out to a trusted peer or a former colleague, and ask for their honest assessment. It is possible to have blind spots about your performance, and your boss is trying to help you. 

Ultimately, suppose the majority of the feedback is off-base and inaccurate. In that case, you have three options: 1) Have a thoughtful and respectful conversation with your boss sharing your perspective and using examples, 2) Have a conversation with your HR liaison and ask for a recommendation on moving forward, or 3) Discount the feedback and start looking for your next career move. 

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing how to deliver feedback.

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Kim Martin

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