Alyssa Stahr

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#TAGBlog – Receiving and Giving Feedback

Categories: The Arland Group

There are various times in life that you may be subjected to receiving formal feedback. Perhaps it started with the grade school science fair judging panel.

Then it continued with your parents weighing in on how well you cleaned your room, basing your allowance rate upon the level of clothing on the floor. The college debate team came next, deciding your fate by hanging on your every word. Finally, now it’s the time of year in your professional career that you may be dreading – it’s time for your annual employee review.

Some people love feedback. They cherish the trust-building relationship that grows from a good one-on-one chat, and performance reviews give us the chance to improve, grow and flourish in our careers. For those who watch the clock tick with trepidation, you are in luck. The Arland Group has some tips on receiving feedback. And, since feedback is a two-way street, we have some tips coming on how to give proper feedback as well.

The Arland Group has devised a nine-step receiving feedback guide to prime you for success:

1. Do not get defensive.
2. Assume positive intentions.
3. Reflect and check for understanding.
4. Challenge feedback appropriately.
5. Admit and take responsibility.
6. Ask for concrete examples.
7. Upset about your feedback results? Wait until you’re not so upset about the meeting, gain clarity and then dig in further.
8. Ask others for confirmation.
9. Realize that no matter what the feedback may be, it’s not a total reflection of who you are.

As for those giving the feedback, your role is just as important, if not more so.

1. Get to the point.
2. Stick to the facts.
3. Make it about the behavior, not the person.
4. Keep it timely.
5. Be respectful and empathetic.
6. Stay calm.
7. Give specific examples.
8. Give suggestions for improvement.
9. Give feedback in person, if at all possible.
10. Pick your moment wisely.
11. Follow up.

No matter what side of the table you are on, remember that feedback is there for a reason and should hopefully be a positive experience for all parties involved.


The Arland Group is a recruitment marketing and communications agency. We believe people do their best work when they find their best job. Integrating strategy, media and creative, we specialize in building clear, authentic employer brands that close the gap between candidates and exciting careers around the world.