• The Importance of Feedback

In the workplace, most people communicate face-to-face with their supervisors and colleagues, so the ability to provide relevant feedback can help develop effective business relationships and business productivity. The feedback not only improves the communication but it also leads to more efficient managerial and organizational work. Even though we are often scared to receive feedback or even to give one, we must understand that if we want to develop, the feedback is the greatest thing that we can receive from our colleagues or supervisor. Sometimes the person who is giving the feedback can be perceived from the receiver as somehow superior and that is why the receiver becomes defensive. And this, in my opinion, is wrong. We cannot expect to become better or to grow professionally if we are not able to accept feedback for our work. On the contrary, sometimes we even need to ask for feedback if we feel that we need one. Feedback will help us build confidence and learn from our mistakes.

For example, if you were given from your supervisor to do a presentation and after the presentation is done you do not receive any feedback, you will assume that everything was good since your supervisor said nothing. But is assuming good enough for moving forward? What if your supervisor has notes of what was good and what was bad in the presentation? How will you ever know what to improve or what to continue doing? These and other questions we should ask ourselves every time when we do not receive feedback for our work. Normally, our supervisor has to come and give as answers to all these questions, since feedback is a very important part of any leader’s skill set, but even if he does not do that, there is nothing wrong if we go to him and ask for one. We need feedback no matter if it is positive or constructive (negative).

Positive feedback is one of the tools that reinforce positive workplace behavior. Often managers and colleagues do not know how to give positive feedback to each other or consider it unnecessary. More often we will say what was not well done, than what was well done. Positive feedback must be specific and have an effect on future tasks. Like in the example above, if we know what in the presentation was good, we will use those things again in the future. Many of us, not only in the workplace but also in life, want to feel valued. So, when we receive positive feedback we feel valued and connected to the team, and we know that our efforts were noticed. And the most important thing, positive feedback is quite motivating too.

Negative or constructive feedback focuses on behavioral changes that are destructive, or on performance results that are not good, nor satisfactory. Most of the time when we receive negative feedback, we feel bad and we become defensive and upset. But the one thing we need to know is that negative feedback is a perfect opportunity for us to learn and improve. If we are willing to accept negative feedback, to work on it, and to improve, we will be much more appreciated and respected in the workplace. That shows that we are mature people. If our manager or colleague gives us negative feedback, it means that they care about our success and growth in the company, because if not, then they would let us continue making the same mistakes. However, we often do not see it this way, especially at the moment when we are given negative feedback. We often understand it as a personal attack, which is why an anger, a denial, a guilt can appear. And that, in any case, does not lead to the results wanted to be achieved with that constructive criticism.

So my advice, be grateful next time when you receive positive or negative feedback because that is just one more step ahead to your personal growth.

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Elena Ognenovska

HR Specialist, Self improvement / self development enthusiast