05 Sep

Serco Whitepaper - 'Preparing people to receive feedback'

Look at feedback from the recipient’s point of view

As leaders we spend a lot of time analysing the performance, comparing it against pre-prescribed competencies or measures, finding specific examples that support the feedback.

But how often do we look at the receipt of that feedback from the point of view of the recipient?

Receiving feedback from people you trust and love the most is a confronting and scary thing, let alone a colleague or manager at work.

It is all about authentically connecting with people and empowering them to exercise their free choice.

Ask yourself, “How often have I received feedback I don’t agree with? How did I respond? What did I think of the person giving me the feedback? And why?”

I often tell people the feedback is the feedback. Just because someone says so does not make it true. How you respond is absolutely your choice. You can agree with the feedback or not agree with the feedback. Furthermore, you can change or not change your behaviour.

Hang on a minute, people can agree or not agree? Sure can, but they can still change or not change their behaviour. Let’s look at the model in more detail.

Agree with the feedback and change my behaviour

When I agree with the feedback and look to change my behaviour, it is because I too know it’s true. I can also see that it is in my interest to change. I can see how it is beneficial for me to do so: because I will get better results, have better relationships, or improved career prospects.

Agree with the feedback and not change my behaviour

I can agree with the feedback, I know it is true, but not change my behaviour. Why? Surely if you agree with the feedback you would change. Maybe not? Maybe it is not in my self-interest to change.

Maybe, what I am being asked to change is an integral part of who I am, or what I believe made or makes me successful. Maybe it is the way the organisation or a previous manager prefers it to be done this way? Maybe I believe my behaviour is more closely aligned to the organisation’s values.

Maybe I am right and you are wrong. Is it a case of what got me here won’t get me there?

Not agree with the feedback and change

I don’t agree with the feedback, but I do acknowledge it is your perception, or the filter through which you view the world and you see that behaviour in a negative way.

Because I value our relationship and your perception of me, I choose to change those behaviours that give you that perception. 

Read the full whitepaper

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