A simple framework for receiving feedback.

It amazes me the angst and issues that are caused by people not being able to effectively receive feedback. 

Whilst working in recruitment and in apprenticeships I have encouraged everyone to develop their ability to take feedback.

In my opinion, this should be something that school develops early on in education. An essential skill to better prepare young minds for the world of work. 

A really simple framework to follow is this:

Welcome – Reconfirm – Take Action

Welcome.

The person that gives you feedback does not have to give you feedback. In fact, no input is the worst feedback you can get. It shows that the person does not care enough to give you any. So if someone gives you feedback, you should first start by thanking them in words – yes I mean to say:

“Thank you.”

Also internally think “Thank you” this person cares about me and my work enough to give me feedback. Also worth considering your body language and tone at this point. In any communications, your body language impacts the whole of the message that you are trying to convey. A misplaced eye roll or shrug can completely undermine your efforts. 

Reconfirm.

Often feedback is received well and even thanked but without reconfirming both parties could be left with a misunderstanding. So after your thank you, ask:

“Just so that I understand the feedback you mean XYZ… “

Asking these clarification questions is essential. Especially, if the feedback that you receive is purely a short comment from a manager. Then wrap up:

“So if I did XYZ then that would be good?”

You should be left with a clear action to improve. With leads us nicely into the next step of the framework.

Take Action.

This is where the rubber meets the road. Implement and take action as quickly as you can on the clarified fixes. The quicker and more effectively you can do this the more people will think of you as an action taker. Therefore they will be more likely to give you their time in the future helping you improve. 

BONUS – Tell the person what you have done based on their feedback.

Sometimes the person that gave you feedback might not be your manager; they may be a customer. Following up with them on the action that you have taken sounds so simple but it will differentiate you. In a world where so few take action, this is a superpower. 

I hope that you find this simple framework useful. Importantly I hope you can apply to your role wherever you are in your journey. Using this will help support you in developing other meta-skills and aid your efforts toward rapid skill acquisition.

Reach out to me on twitter via @JODonnellCoach. Tell me how you have used the WRC framework – I love hearing practical applications and stories. 


James O'Donnell
James O'Donnell

James is on a mission to put the Social back into Social Media!