Angry Thoughts
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Angry Thoughts

How to give and receive feedback

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Feedback conveys information about behavior and aims to help point out its strengths and weaknesses. With the help of that evaluation, someone can understand better what is running on their work, what isn’t and how to improve it.

It might be easy to take these criticisms too personally. When someone says that your work, in which you spent hours and days to no end on perfecting it, is trash and should be done from scratch all over again, they speak of the work, not you. Still, you can’t help but feel frustration and annoyance and really be down just thinking that all that time and dedication put on perfecting something were not validated. And, if your work is not approved, you feel useless.

Sure that your first reaction will try to be defending with tooth and nails what you did and probably dismiss everything that the person is saying because, either you think that they don’t have experience in your area of work and they have no clue what they are saying or asking for, or you think that your side and vision probably is the only true way of doing something.

Stop a minute. Take a deep breath.

How to receive feedback?

The first step to receive this kind of feedback is to shelve your emotions, listen to what the other one is saying and ask specific questions:

  • Why do you think it is bad?
  • What elements, in your opinion, are not working here?
  • Can you tell me more of what you think of this particular element?
  • How does it make you feel? What do you think it represents?
  • Do you think that it makes sense to have this element in this place, or this size or this color with this specific aspect?

Beware the tone of your voice and body language when asking these direct and specific questions. The key is to just listen to what the other person has to say, absorb what is relevant, improve your work, and thank them for the feedback given.

This way, the other person will feel that they are being heard and their opinions are being considered. You also get to know better what is working or not with a fresh new pair of eyes.

If the person is just saying mean things just for the “trolls,” or doesn’t know what to say, or even refuses to collaborate in this back and forth exchange of information… You thank them for their comment and end the discussion there. That type of “information” holds no value to you nor your work.

If many people point out the same problem in your work with similar justifications, you can consider it and use it as a way to find the best solution to fix what is amiss or doesn’t work.

The greatest thing about working with a team is to have different types of people — with different backgrounds — contributing their opinions and points of view to the project and, in the end, learn from it and improve yourself with it all.

At the end of the day, taking and giving criticism passes through a layer of trust and understanding of each other’s emotional wavelength. It’s letting others speak their opinion, match their tone and energy. Doing this might lead you to talk with grumpy people (remain passive and not exalt them too much), or even quiet people who feel confused and don’t know what to say. Read these final key points for both sides.

For those who will give feedback

Remember that the other person probably invested their time and resources to do something you are criticizing. Additionally, no one likes to hear that all of that was useless because the work is now being taken to the ground. Thus, if you want to give some kind of feedback, follow this:

For those who are receiving the feedback

Ever heard of the phrase “Fail Fast!”? It means that it is best to have something rough at the early stages of the project, to show it to the people around to get a gist of what can remain and what needs to be improved. When receiving feedback, remember these points:

At Angry Ventures, we love to give and receive feedback because it makes us grow. Can you provide us with feedback too?

Originally published at https://angry.ventures on December 24, 2020.

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