Taking the feedback

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How to not freeze or freak after getting feedback.

Kim Scott author of Radical Candor has two principles for you to consider after receiving feedback.

  • Thank the person for giving you the feedback. By rewarding and acknowledging the time and effort someone has taken to give you the feedback it's important to say thank you. You are then also encouraging people to give you more feedback - which only means you are going to get more chances to get better at what you do. 
  • Work out what you need to fix based on what has been brought to your attention. What is it that you need to do with the feedback, what can you fix and change so you get better based on the feedback that you've given. 

This podcast is a fantastic overview, with stories and practical tips on receiving feedback - 10 minutes of your time - well worth it. 

Avoiding getting defensive when receiving feedback is one of the big challenges. Even when delivered with good intentions, care, and is accurate, it can make you feel vulnerable and can feel personal. This article pulls out how to notice in yourself if you are getting defensive, what to do about it and other tips on being on the receiving end of feedback. This summary on communication without defensiveness, dips into the neuroscience elements of why we get defensive. 

View feedback as a gift - seek it frequently and that helps it become the norm for you. Viewing feedback as a gift means you frame it in a positive mindset so you are open and curious to the comments being made. Saying that - ever had an unwanted gift? 

Last week I introduced you to Kim Scott's 11 tips on asking for feedback, here is one of them that is relevant to receiving feedback:-

Listen with the intent to understand, not to respond!
Just listening is a good start, don't interrupt or argue. Pay attention. Show you are interested. Use a read back approach to understand more - don't make it into a cross examination by demanding examples. This is this persons perception and understanding of you - really hearing it and understanding it will increase your awareness and insight.

Simon Sinek actively seeks negative feedback and because he is driven to continously improve, he no longer fears the criticism. He talks here about the ego is no longer in the way because it is what he continually seeks to do. He writes in more detail here, with a story and example on how you can fulfil your potential. 

Writing down the feedback is an idea suggested here. This is also a great way of collating all the positive feedback you receive. When you are having one of 'those days' it's good to dip into the positive feedback - an approach to keep you in the right frame of mind and at your best.  I have a 'smile file' in my email folders that can turn my days around.