Ever asked for feedback?

notlistening“What do you think of these new shoes I’ve just bought?”
“What do you reckon to that goal I scored, eh?”
“Does my bum look big in this?”

– all questions asking for feedback where the last thing you really want is the truth.

But what if the questions on your mind are:

“How did that presentation really come across?”
“What did you think of the latest draft of the chapter I emailed to you last week?”
“Can I have some feedback on how I performed in the interview?”

It’s hard to get others to give you honest feedback unless you consider:

  • Why you want feedback
  • What kind of feedback you want
  • Who could give you feedback
  • How to ask for feedback
  • How to react to feedback

That’s a bit too much to cover in one blog post, so here’s a handout I’ve written, covering all those topics, plus hints on how to take the first steps in getting more, and more useful, feedback:

If you read it, whether you’re one of our postgrads or anyone else, I’d be interested in any feedback to help improve the advice and make sure it’s relevant. For example:

  • Is it clear?
  • Does it cover things which are of concern to you?
  • Is the tone right?
  • Are there any typos?

Just leave a comment if you’ve got any feedback.

4 responses to “Ever asked for feedback?”

  1. It’s very clear and helpful, thank you! It covers the main topics, keeps the right kind of tone, and I didn’t notice any typos. I read it through quickly. Being able to save it as a pdf is useful for me because I can easily refer to it when I’m next thinking about feedback issues.

    1. Elizabeth (Postgrad blog) Avatar
      Elizabeth (Postgrad blog)

      Hi Robbie

      Many thanks for your feedback – much appreciated!

      I’ve been writing a web resource to help PhDs during their research degree and wanted to do something on asking for feedback, and suddenly remembered a handout I’d written long ago. A quick rummage round our old training directories, a bit of a spring clean, and voila, a new “How to … Guide” for postgrads! Glad it still seems relevant.

      Good luck with getting feedback – ask the right people the right way and it can be really helpful.

  2. There’s some good information on Mindtools on the subject of feedback (both giving and receiving) including a helpful feedback matrix. See:

    1. Elizabeth (Postgrad blog) Avatar
      Elizabeth (Postgrad blog)

      Thanks Emma – some good articles there!


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