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! This installment will review the latest research in this area.
Feedback reception steps
Ehrlich et al. (2020) outlined the steps to teach this complex skill:
arrives at the meeting prepared
maintains eye contact
asks follow-up questions
acknowledges corrective feedback
engages in active listening
commits to behavior change
indicates appreciation for feedback
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 BST 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 the 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 for new staff 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.
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. https://doi.org/10.1080/01608061.2020.1746470
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. https://doi.org/10.1080/01608061.2021.1903647