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Tip 49: How to Receive Someone Else’s Feedback on Your Writing

Last time we talked about how to review another person’s writing. Now let’s look at how we should receive feedback from a reviewer.

Authors should:

  • Consider advice fully and carefully before deciding whether to accept it.
  • Explain tactfully why you chose to reject certain suggestions. For example, you might say, “This document follows requirements from _______company policy document, so we are going to have to preserve the content as is.
  • Realize that the reviewer is trying to help make the document better. Don’t get defensive.
  • If you need more clarity on suggestions, ask questions such as, “Why do you think we should add a section for ____?”
  • Thank the reviewer for his or her feedback.
    We encourage respectful discussion of reasoning behind suggestions and decisions. This kind of discussion often results in compromise that satisfies both parties and further clarifies writing for the end users and readers.

Good luck!

Submitted by Lacey Wulf