My VP gave me some feedback today. Do I follow up with an email or some other form of tangible communication, confirming that I "heard" what he was saying?
Thanks in advance,

esanthony's picture

With my last boss that was certainly the case. Because of his personality, he wanted a) to be reaffirmed that his message was received and b) that it was received in a positive way.

Mike and Mark will probably say that how you follow up depends largely on his or her personality type and I agree. In my opinion and certainly as a boss I appreciate this follow up because it does exactly what I mentioned above. When I receive follow up from a feedback it tells me they understand and wether or not it was constructive. It also is an indication of how open they are to communicate with me.

When done right, feedback is meant to have positive results even if it was negative feedback.

Mark's picture
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Not really necessary, but if you want to, it’s not wrong. Ask yourself what kind of guy he is. If he’s a High D, he is WAY past this and the note won’t work. If he’s an S or I, sending the note as a way to strengthen the relationship and SAY THANKS is a good idea.

If you think he is new to feedback, or that something like this is out of the ordinary, stop by or send a short mail and say thanks, noting how rare candid feedback seems to be. I would NOT give him positive feedback… somehow, that is just seen as sucking up.

What I would do is be certain to SHOW that you got it, by engaging in the behavior he wanted. THIS IS THE KEY.

It’s a privilege to serve you…


esanthony's picture

Very true Mark. . .SHOWING that you got the point of the feedback is always the most important thing (duh, can't believe I didnt say that in my reply post). Taking specific action to change the behavior is much more powerful than simply regurgitating a summary of the feedback (which should not be done it always stinks of sucking up). When I would give this type of follow up it was not to reiterate the feedback but to communicate what action I was taking to improve the behavior. In most cases it was not even a direct response to the feedback it was simply an ancillary comment in another email or discussion.

Best regards,