how to RECEIVE feedback 4of4

A culture of feedback is one that nurtures a healthy level of trust, self-awareness and continuous growth. Groups and teams where feedback is asked for and given with clarity and in grace will thrive together while supporting individual flourishing. The final piece of the picture addresses the posture of those receiving feedback.

Don’t be defensive!

The first (and potentially most important) consideration when receiving feedback is to regulate our natural response to defend ourselves. In our words, our posture or our facial expressions (especially for those who, like me, have a particularly ‘loud’ face!) we can communicate a reactivity or negative response that will derail the effectiveness of the process and potentially cause that person to hesitate to give feedback in the future.

Look for what is helpful (even if it’s delivered badly).

Our tendency is to hone in on the points of feedback that are incorrect or communicated poorly. When a reviewer uses exaggeration (such as always or everyone), when they are aggressive or dismissive in their language and tone, or when they make comments that you know to be completely untrue we have a choice in how we respond. The most productive option will always be to find what is true and helpful in what they’ve said and allow that to teach us. There will always be fault to find in the delivery but your choice to overlook that for the purposes of the growth potentially contained in what is being shared will firstly, nurture that healthy feedback culture and secondly, lay a stronger foundation for addressing any changes you might suggest to their mode or method at a later time.

Clarify and identify.

Ask questions to be sure you’ve understood what the reviewer is meaning to convey. “When you say that the presentation was hard to follow are you referring to the structure of the notes, the order of the content or another aspect?” Don’t walk away with disclarity. It essentially means the feedback has been wasted. You don’t know what you can do differently in future (to course-correct or continue to improve) and the reviewer’s time has been without purpose.

Be sure to quickly identify points of the review that you can agree with or acknowledge fault in. Apologise for anything that was missed or that had implications for others. (Eg, “I’m sorry I forgot to mention ā€¦” “I’m sorry my disorganisation impacted other things.”)

Say ‘thank you’!

Even if the feedback has been difficult to receive, thank your reviewer for giving it. Thank them for the risk they’ve taken to share, for the time they’ve taken to articulate their perspective and for the part they’re playing in your ongoing development. Expressing appreciation will keep them on the journey with you.

Circle back.

You don’t have to implement every bit of feedback you receive. Some of it can be readily discarded; some will need to be verified and validated by others. When you do take some feedback on board be sure to let the reviewer know that you are  (eg “After your comments I’ve started doing that a different way.) and what the implications were (eg “My team have noticed a real difference”).

This can be the most effective culture shaping step in the process. When individuals feel the benefit for themselves and when teams and organisations notice the impact collectively, there will be a natural drive to repeat the process. The culture of feedback becomes self-perpetuating once people recognise that, without it, they will be missing opportunities for greatest productivity, excellence, development and impact.


let me give you some feedback
how to ask for feedback 2of4
how to GIVE feedback 3of4



4 apps that make my life better!

I am super grateful to be living in the age of technology. There are so many functions and aides available in the portable delight of my trusty iPhone that make my brain clearer and my days easier. 

I am not particularly techy. But I’m all for working smarter not harder – these apps help me do that. They’re not new or fancy but here’s how I use them. 

Calendar App 

This is about mind management. I keep ALL of my daily movements, appointments and events in this and I do whatever it tells me. I don’t say yes to any invitation or appointment without checking &/or entering it in my calendar. Having all this information centralised and on hand allows me to check the night before what my day will look like, eliminate the chances of a double booking and it’s programmable alerts (inclusive of allowing travel times) keep me on track throughout the day. 

Read more about the psychology behind it here – why you should remember nothing

Over – photo editing & image creation 

I use this to create all of my visuals for social media and communication. Blog graphics, quote images, invitations and promotions are all created in this super intuitive app. I import photos from free sites (such as and and use in-app artwork, fonts and templates to generate high res images for export to online or printing. 

There are font and image packages and upgrades available. I’ve purchased some and have found them great value but the basic package is sufficient without them.  

YouVersion Bible App 

The usefulness of this app cannot be overstated. From the benefit of having a Bible with me always (when I would not otherwise have access to a paper Bible) to its extensive range of translations and reading and devotional plans through to the audio functions – this is such a powerful app. You can book mark and highlight favourite passages, generate images of verses, interact with other users, host events …if only it could make me a coffee it’d be perfect! šŸ™‚

Read 3 reasons to give audio reading a try


I am 110% sure I’m barely scratching the surface of the functionality of this app but what I’ve started to use I love. It’s a ‘digital notebook’ – a place to collate lists, notes and ideas that is always accessible. I use it to keep records and notes for meetings with individuals or teams, ideas for events and messages, and shopping lists all in the one place. Groups can collaborate via shared notebooks. Images and text can be saved as well as scribbles and drawings. 

What about you? What apps do you use frequently? Which ones would you recommend?