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How To Receive & Process Feedback Well? Best Tips

How To Receive & Process Feedback Well? Best Tips

How can you best receive feedback? Here you will find tips and a model to receive and process feedback, for example from a colleague, boss, fellow student, customer, student or teacher. Read on for tips, theory and examples…

Dealing with criticism is an important competence in your professional – and personal – life. How can you answer feedback? Let’s get to the tips.

Receiving feedback: best theory and model that you have to use

In the 7 steps below, a nice model has been incorporated to receive feedback in a way that makes it actually useful for future situations.

receive feedback how

Step 1 – Ask exactly what behavior is involved

Ask for specific behavior if it was not already clear from the feedback message from the feedback giver. Pure feedback should focus on specific behavior . Is that clear from the feedback message? If not, ask:

What exactly does the other perceive?

So what exactly did the feedback giver see, hear or feel? Find out in this way exactly which behavior of yours can be improved.

Step 2 – Check whether you recognize your behavior and ask any additional questions

Do you recognize your behavior or does this come as a surprise? This is a self-reflection step. So take your time. Feel free to ask additional questions if you do not yet recognize your behavior.

Step 3 – Ask for the intention of the feedback

“I know that this feedback has a positive purpose. That intention is not entirely clear to me yet. Can you tell us more about the purpose of the feedback? “

Step 4 – Ask how you could change your behavior

Feedback should actually be practical and meaningful for future situations. So ask how you can change your behavior. That is useful information. So ask for it.

What could be specifically improved? But above all: how can it be better?

Step 5 – Check whether you want to change your behavior

Of course it is also fine to accept the current behavior and not to change anything. Then the feedback was also useful, because you are now aware that you have a certain behavior that can be improved, without the need to necessarily change it. Delicious right!

Step 6 – If necessary, let the person know how you feel after receiving the feedback

What does negative feedback do to you? If this affects you in any way , feel free to let the other person know. This is the vulnerable aspect of receiving feedback and it should be there too.

Criticism is also welcome. Do you find criticism annoying? Criticism is very useful in order to learn something. You will have to learn to deal with it. Fortunately, we sometimes get criticized! You cannot expect the whole world to adore you and that they are only positive and never have points for improvement that could be improved.

Step 7 – How to process feedback? Make your received feedback SMART and keep it in a nice place

Have you received feedback? Turn it into a SMART action for next time and write that SMART wording down somewhere. Then put it away. You don’t necessarily have to look at it over and over again, but you can. In any case, you intend to do things differently next time. After a while you will notice that you have already applied the feedback completely.

Ask for feedback more often to practice receiving feedback

write down your feedback

Not only is it good for your ability to learn to deal with feedback, but you also improve the skills that the feedback is about. The more feedback, the faster you go!

Say more often, “I’m open to feedback.”

Dealing with unfair criticism

Sometimes there is not really feedback, but it is actually poorly conveyed – perhaps unjustified – criticism. There is a nice visualization exercise to learn how to deal with this. See this article for the practice of dealing with criticism.

And if you want to give feedback yourself ?

This article was about receiving feedback . You may also be interested in giving feedback. Here you will find the best model to give feedback.

To your success!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!