Responding to Feedback

Keep your response to leadership feedback positive, simple, focused, and fast. Say thank you and avoid promising to change what you cannot.  In this video, Marshall Goldsmith says responding to feedback in the form of evaluations need not be overwhelming or intimidating. The keys are to keep it positive, simple, focused, and fast.

After viewing the video, answer a “Questions to Ask” and select an “Ideas for Action” to incorporate into your routine this week.

Ideas for Action

  • Publicly thank all the people who have participated in giving you feedback on your leadership skills or career. Acknowledge the effort they put in, as well as their time and consideration. If you are meeting with specific individuals, thank them in person, face to face.
  • Share the positive aspects of your review with your company and team. Thank people for the roles they play in making these areas successful and explain why you value them so highly.
  • Once you recognize the positives, choose one area to focus on that needs improvement. Acknowledge that you have come up short in the past, apologize for it, and move on. Dwelling on past mistakes changes nothing and can potentially create an awkward situation.
  • Ask for specific ideas as to how you can improve on your weak areas. Focus on the possibilities of the future, not the mistakes of the past. Get as much input as you can and resist the urge to judge the ideas or give any type of feedback on them at this time.
  • Do not promise to try to change everything that everyone suggests. Reflect on all the feedback you received and then decide what to tackle. Get your employees and coworkers directly involved with the improvement process. Schedule regular times to check on your progress.

Questions to Ask

  • How do you normally feel upon receiving feedback in a formalized setting?
  • What is the ultimate goal of performance reviews?
  • Which of Goldsmith’s instructions seems most difficult? Which seems easiest? Why?
  • Do you believe your managers when they promise to change? Why or why not?