We focus a lot of time thinking about how to give effective feedback but in a professional dialogue it is important to be able to receive it without responding in negative ways, e.g. anger, denial, blaming or rationalisation. These guidelines are taken from the NHS Multiprofessional Faculty Development team and although aimed at doctors they are equally appropriate for teachers. Encourage them to read and consider these guidelines.
Guidelines for receiving constructive feedback
- Listen to it (rather than prepare your response/defence).
- Ask for it to be repeated if you did not hear it clearly.
- Assume it is constructive until proven otherwise; then consider and use those elements that are constructive.
- Pause and think before responding.
- Ask for clarification and examples if statements are unclear or unsupported.
- Accept it positively (for consideration) rather than dismissively (for self-protection).
- Ask for suggestions of ways you might modify or change your behaviour.
- Respect and thank the person giving feedback.
“The aim of developing an open dialogue between the person giving feedback and the recipient is so that both parties are relaxed and able to focus on actively listening, engaging with the learning points and messages, and developing these into action points for future development.“