How to Get the Most Out of Peer Feedback?



Have you ever had one of your peers give you feedback and tell you how you should be doing things differently? Did you get turned off? If you have, that’s normal… and at the same time, you missed an opportunity to improve.

People tend to feel quite protective about how they do things.

It might have taken you years to develop your modus operandi. So, when someone is brave enough to indicate how you could be doing things differently, you’re unlikely to listen. More so, you may have even asked for someone for their feedback . And yet, when they open up and share with you what they see, you tense up and start to justify your behavior to them.

I am going to make three assumptions here:

  1. You rarely ask for feedback
  2. You only request feedback from people you respect
  3. You don’t accept unsolicited feedback
  4. So, how do you get the most out of genuine feedback that you ask for?

First, you need to want to hear it.

Here are 6 tips to get the most out of feedback:

1) Choose to hear feedback as an opportunity

They are telling you something you don’t see, or you see but ignore the implications. Even if it sounds harsh, the intent is to help you. You know, tough love…

2) Listen

Some comments will be tolerable. Others, just plain invalid. These are the exact nuggets you want to listen to and understand. Many times, our self perception is a far cry from reality. When you care of how others perceive what you do, it is time to find out what their perception is. Great listening will help you to achieve that.

3) Ask questions

This is your opportunity to clarify others’ perception. Use the word “why” as many times as necessary.Find out what is the impact on others.

4) Leave your “ego” at the door

Now is not the time to defend the fort. Of course you have reasons why you are doing things the way you do. But, stop thinking that you know it all. This is called arrogance. And that will do absolutely zero to help you improve.

5) Brainstorm

If they pointed out some problems, discuss possible solutions. You are not required to guarantee implementing what they recommend. But, you’ll may get a sneak peek at what it may be, if you choose to do things a certain way. Open communication will help you see things you cannot see on your own.

6) Keep the experience positive

When you do have someone who is honest and willingly shares with you what you can’t see on your own, cherish that. You not only need to make the experience conflict-free, but also inviting to the point that they will be willing to help you again. Be interested in everything they say and show your gratitude.

What has been the most helpful feedback you’ve ever received? Post your comment in the space below.