How to Receive Feedback - Part Two

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I do if my direct gives me feedback?
  • What should I say to someone who gives me feedback?
  • Does it matter if feedback is given badly?

In this cast, we START to describe how to respond to feedback AFTER you've received it, specifically: FEEDBACK NOT IN THE MODEL.

For our classic April Fools cast, we talked about how to receive feedback, but only partly. We discussed the Physical, Facial and Verbal responses to someone asking, "May I give you some feedback?"

But obviously, you're going to get a lot of inputs regarding your performance. Some of it WILL come in the form of the feedback model, and in an upcoming cast, we'll talk about how to continue your response under those conditions.

But, not all of it will come in the form of the feedback model. What do you do when someone gives you input on your behavior? What's the right way to respond to praise? What's an effective way to talk about what you could have done better?

We'd bet you're getting the praise part wrong, anyway. ;-)

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Here is some feedback for your

Here is some feedback for your podcast.
You need to use a more stable phone line in your recordings. There was an echo on Mike's voice that was a bit distracting. Also, Mark's reaction seemed to be delayed slightly b/c of the connection.

BTW your themesong reminds me of the glorious 80's. The bad parts.

Otherwise, a great, informative show as always.

Sue- We don't use a phone line to


We don't use a phone line to record our casts.

And that's not feedback.

Glad you (like) our work.


Hey Mark & Mike! Thank's for a

Hey Mark & Mike!

Thank's for a great podcast! I have tested resume stuff, and it works. However, I didn't feel I had a great Interview. When I asked for feedback I was told I seemed to nervous for the interviewers to get to know me. I think the reason was the fact that I forgot the name og an author of a book I'm reading... After that it was downhill, the bad way. Any teckniques you suggests battle this in the future?

Magnus- I'd recommend you post your


I'd recommend you post your question in our discussion forums, where more folks will benefit from the answer.



Mark and Mike: A very good one again

Mark and Mike:

A very good one again !

I liked the part on "how to receive a positive feedback". It is true that nearly anybody would say : "Thanks" and immediately after : "but, it was not THAT good : need to improve on this or that". Because we are not so used to recieve sincere compliments, we do not feel at ease and need to "decrease the power" of the praise a little bit ...

I never realized that answering this way was like saying : "you praise me on that, but I don't accept it because I am so superior to you that my judgment on excellence is higher than yours" !
Or it is a little bit as if when receiving a gift, you would say : "Thanks, but it is not so great to me ..."

Thank you for opening my eyes on that.


PS : there was a techical problem with Mike's voice (a very light echo). But the general quality was good, as usual.

Mark and Mike -- I have been asking

Mark and Mike --

I have been asking my DR's for feedback ("What can I do better to help/support you?") for the past 4-5 weeks during O3's. They've all be telling me "nothing... you're doing great" and other compliments.

During our weekly stand up this morning, we were discussing the MT conference which 3 of my staff attended. Specifically, we talked about how we can use what they learned to improve our team. We discussed the giving and receiving of feedback. I shared that I really want their feedback on what I could do better. They said they were told at the conference to never ever give feedback to their manager... no matter what.

Help! How can I get feedback?

Hi Dani I don't know your org.

Hi Dani

I don't know your org. structure. Could you do a skip level and find out what the indirects feel?


Hi *RNTT -- Thanks for the suggestion.

Hi *RNTT -- Thanks for the suggestion. I do skip levels every other month. My understanding from the 1st part of the feedback podcast was to spend a few months asking your DR's for feedback one-on-one before moving on to the group feedback process. Perhaps I misunderstood... I will go back and re-listen.

Either way, I'm at a loss for what to do since my directs have told me that they learned at the conference not to give me feedback.

Mark & Mike -- is there an exception to this rule when the supervisor asks for it?


Dani- But of course. The


But of course. The recommendation we make to not give bosses feedback is based on our belief that the vast majority of bosses are NOT Manager Tools trained, and don't really mean it, and don't realize how poorly they respond to it. THOSE managers ought NOT to be given feedback.

Tell your directs it's okay. You're a Manager Tools manager, and you get it, and so do they. Only then do we recommend it.


Sue/Cédric, Thanks for pointing


Thanks for pointing out the audio quality issue. I've corrected the problem and re-uploaded the file. Feel free to download again if the "echo" is too much to bear! :-)

best regards,

Mike Wow, nice "after sales"


Wow, nice "after sales" service.


Great stuff -- thanks! One thing I'm

Great stuff -- thanks!

One thing I'm not clear on (forgive me if I missed it, I was distracted for a minute mid-cast): What if you receive a behaviour suggestion that you know is wrong? Eg:

A: I didn't like your presentation.
B: Thanks for letting me know! How might I have done better?
A: It should've had strippers. (Whatever -- anything inappropriate or just plain "wrong." Could be "didn't include my pet-project-that-isn't-appropriate or whatever.)

I know the answer is something along the lines of "that's an interesting idea, I'll look into that" -- but can't figure out how to word it in a way that isn't an obvious blow-off.

Olie- Just say, "hey,


Just say, "hey, thanks."