A   C o m p r e h e n s i v e   M a n u a l
some shortcoming over which he/she has
Some Guidelines for Receiving Feed 
no control;
6. It is solicited rather than imposed.
Feedback from another person (other
Feedback is most useful when the receiv 
people) is one important source of data
er her/himself has formulated the kind of
which helps tell you how your actions are
questions which those observing her/him
affecting others.  Even if you do not
can answer;
totally agree with the feedback, it is
important for you to first clearly hear and
7. It is well timed. In general, feedback is
understand it.  Even if you don t think it s
most useful at the earliest opportunity
"true" it will give you insight into some 
after the given behavior occurs. This
one else s "truth."  Since people act on
should be mediated by other factors such
their perceptions of your actions, it will
as, is the person able to hear it at this
be useful to know how you are coming
time, is there support available, etc.;
across, this gives you the option to
change if you are coming across in unin 
8. It focuses on "what" and avoids "why;"
tended ways.  The following guidelines
may help you be effective in receiving
9. It is checked to insure accuracy and
useful feedback.
clarity of communication. One way of
doing this is to have the receiver try to
1. Remember that it is one person s per 
paraphrase what she/he heard to see if
ception of your actions (or a few people s
that corresponds to what the sender had
perceptions) not universal "Truth; 
intended; and
2. Actively check out the feedback you
10. When the feedback is given in a
receive with others.  If many people give
group situation, both the giver and
you the same or similar feedback, there
receiver should have the opportunity to
may be a pattern in how you are coming
check with others in the group to get
across and you might want to consider it
additional feedback. Is this one person s
more strongly;
impression or one shared by others?
When giving feedback in a group setting,
3. Try not to offer explanations "I did that
always speak for yourself using  I  state 
because..." or be defensive, "that s not
ments.  Speaking for the group will like 
what I meant...;"
ly overwhelm the receiver and lead
him/her to believe the entire group has
4. Ask clarifying questions in order to
discussed some issue behind his/her
understand the feedback more fully;
5. Good listening encourages feedback.
Feedback, then is a way of giving help; it
After you have heard all of the feedback
is a corrective mechanism for the individ 
try to paraphrase it back in your own
ual who wants to learn how well her/his
words.  This allows the giver of the feed 
behavior matches her/his intentions. It is
back to know she/he has been heard and
a way to learn from one s experience and
understood, and make it more likely that
to grow and improve.
he/she will give more feedback;
M a n a g i n g   Y o u r   G r o u p     M     7 7


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