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23rd July 2015
New Reviews Just In

Stand Out by JP Markey
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22nd July 2015
4 Ways To Make Feedback Valuable

valuable feedback

The start to being able to improve yourself relies on being able to map out a journey:

Knowing where you are now, where you want to be in the future, how you're going to get there and what obstacles you might face on the way and an ETA on when you want to be there.

Knowing where you are now is all about having some level of self awareness. Something that can be achieved through psychometric testing, reflective activities and gathering feedback.

Gathering feedback, from what I have seen, often goes wrong or is misunderstood or is tainted to only be positive to achieve an ego boost. That's not giving any self awareness. So here are my three tips to making feedback valuable and effective.

Use the STOP - START - CONTINUE model

Keep feedback simple and action-led by asking for things you should STOP doing, things you should START doing and things you should CONTINUE doing.This also helps you digest the information in a more positive way.

Things you should stop doing tend to be a hard piece feedback to take. The things you should start doing are action-led and inherently offer new ideas which makes you feel ready to improve. The continue section gives you a little pat on the back and helps you recognise the good that you're doing already.

Allow it to be (really!) anonymous

No matter how approachable, friendly or gregarious you are, a lot of people find it hard being frank. To make it a more honest environment with no chance of reprise for being too critical you need to ensure that not only is the feedback anonymous it is believed to be anonymous.

If you work with a close team then, I would suggest, getting paper forms handed into a trusted team member who can rewrite all the comments onto a separate feedback sheet. This way people won't be worried you will know it's them from their handwriting. Or use a service such as survey monkey is everyone will have access.

NEVER be openly critical about the feedback

Be prepared. If you've set the environment to be honest then you may receive some feedback that's hard to take. THAT'S THE POINT. It's easy to react. It's easy to be angry. But just relax. Give yourself time to absorb the information. Take your time. Whether or not you think it's fair, you need to remember that this is someone's opinion and you've just become a little bit more self aware.

And lastly.


You've got the feedback. Now use it to decide how you will be a better manager. Or a better worker. Or a better communicator. Or just a better person.

Had good experiences with feedback? Bad experiences? I would love to hear about it below!

Thanks for reading.

I hope this silly little article helped provoke some thoughts about feedback.

For more of my thoughts see "Stand Out" which I wrote on train journeys to and from London during my time working there. Find out more here.

More articles and blogs at: The James Markey Homepage.

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James Markey

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