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Processing Feedback as a Fitness Manager

processing feedback

As caring leaders, receiving negative and constructive feedback may be challenging, but we know it’s essential for our success. Even if feedback is communicated in a rude or non-compassionate way, we need to trust it may still be relevant and valuable. No, the customer may not always be right, but if we are in the wrong mindset and we take the wrong actions, we as leaders can actually make things worse. When processing feedback, here are the five steps I recommend you take to respond and another five to act and resolve the issue at hand:

Responding to the reviewee:

  1. Sincere Gratitude: Thank them for their time and effort to make you better.
  2. Recover: To the best of your ability, try to recover from the mistake or issue at hand. Perhaps is a gift card or discount on a service or product for future experiences.
  3. Request Detail: Most feedback can be quite vague. Ask for specifics in order to take the best action.
  4. Reassure: Thank them again for the details provided and respond with reassurance regarding the actions you plan on taking and when they will happen. 
  5. Follow Up: After you’ve had the ability to improve with your team, follow up to see if they have had the opportunity to witness improvement or if they have additional feedback.

Sharing and acting on feedback with your team:

  1. Investigate: Once you are clear on who, what and when the poor experience happened, do your best to check it out for yourself.
  2. Take a Breath: If the feedback isn’t something that needs to be acted on immediately, take your time sharing it with the team so you’re able to articulate and deliver it to the right people in the best way possible.
  3. Be Specific: Aim to only share the feedback with the employees to who the feedback specifically relates. Blasting all of your employees will be ineffective and possibly ignored completely.
  4. Ask and Listen: It’s possible your employees don’t have the freedom they need to act in the best way to resolve conflict on the spot or recover from a mistake.
  5. Follow Up: After you’ve had the chance to share the feedback and come up with solutions with your team, check-in to see how things have improved.

Believe me, I know how tempting it is to resolve conflict quickly. I’ve learned over the years of leading a diverse team of providers that rushing to communicate tough feedback and make improvements rarely works out. Trust yourself, trust your team and follow the above steps to learn and improve together.

“Average players want to be left alone. Good players want to be coached. Great players want to be told the truth.” – Doc Rivers

Staci Alden

Staci is committed to helping group fitness managers elevate their programs, instructors and leadership skills through consulting, writing, presenting and her YouTube channel. For over a decade she has overseen a team of over 100 private Pilates and group fitness instructors at a luxury health club in Seattle, Washington. Get in touch with Staci through stacialden.com, Facebook, Instagram or connect on LinkedIn.

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