While evaluating an employee’s performance feedback many employees start leaning towards defensiveness because the employee feels as if they didn’t do anything wrong. It is important for an employee to listen to the opinion of the superior to learn from the mistake and gain experience instead of denying and not taking in a learning lesson. The employee should realize that it is a business opinion and not just some opinion for any other particular reason. One way to reduce defensiveness would be to ask questions if confused about what is expected.
Asking for help to a superior is a great way to reduce the tension and to get back on page. It is better to ask for help than to mess up on something that your superior had assigned to you. Communication is a great way for an employee and superior to reduce defensiveness.
Having the right tone will also assure the superior that you understand and aren’t being defensive.
Another way to reduce defensiveness would be to be more positive, Instead of taking in everything negative from the performance review, have a more positive outlook, instead of narrowness. Saying to yourself that I learned from my mistake and I won’t do it again is way better than just saying it was not my fault and committing the same mistake again. It is important to listen to criticism to understand where and how you went wrong. Asking questions is a good way but over asking may lead to seeming that you are being defensive.
When i use to work at Sports Authority (Before it went out of business) all the sales staff got a evaluation on how we were performing My superior has discussed to me on what attributes he liked that i had and he also talked to me about improvements that i needed to make and where i am going wrong.
Right before he ended the evaluation he told me that there is a lot of potential he has seen in me and not to let it go to waste. That really stuck with me throughout these years. My colleague who also got an evaluation from the same superior, didn’t take his feedback the right way. Right away he started saying to my manager that it wasn’t his fault and started making many excuses. He even went as far as Lrylng to get more of his colleagues to back him up. (Didn’t go so well for him), Moral of the story is, you cannot eliminate defensiveness, but there are many steps that can help reduce it while getting feedback.