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  • Writer's pictureAbigail Blackman

Feedback Reception

Not only is it difficult to provide feedback, but it can also be difficult to receive feedback. How do you teach people to appropriately receive feedback? Recent research has started to indicate how! 

Feedback reception steps

Ehrlich et al. (2020) outlined the steps to teach this complex skill:

  1. arrives at the meeting prepared

  2. maintains eye contact

  3. asks follow-up questions

  4. acknowledges corrective feedback

  5. engages in active listening

  6. commits to behavior change

  7. indicates appreciation for feedback

  8. has an appropriate demeanor

*The underlined steps were also included in Walker and Sellers (2021)

How to train this skill

Ehrlich et al. (2020) demonstrated performance improvements when using behavioral skills training to train feedback receptivity. Walker and Sellers (2021) extended Ehrlich et al. and found computer-based instruction to effectively improve feedback receptivity. The computer-based instruction included a description, rationale, models, exemplars and non exemplars, and feedback based on the model. The authors had participants score how well the videos demonstrated feedback reception skills. Walker and Sellers included a return on investment discussion for creation of the computer-based instruction. They stated that after six trainings, the organization would recuperate the costs to create it. Not bad! 

When should this skill be taught?

This skill could be taught at the onset of training at an organization. This would be a proactive approach. Teaching this skill early could help new providers understand the importance of feedback and how it is part of the organizational culture. Feedback reception could also be taught reactivity - when a pattern of behavior is observed.

Collection of fidelity data on reception

During supervisory observations, data can be collected on provider feedback reception. This will provide the supervisor with objective information on provider fidelity with this important soft skill. The steps outlined above are what has been shown to be effective in the literature to date; however, there may be situations in which not all of those steps are necessary or appropriate. 


Ehrlich, R. J., Nosik, M. R., Carr, J. E., & Wine, B. (2020). Teaching employees how to receive feedback: A preliminary investigation. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 40(1-2), 19-29.

Walker, S., & Sellers, T. (2021). Teaching appropriate feedback reception skills using computer-based instruction: A systematic replication. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 41(3), 236-254.


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