Feedback is coming. You just know it. You begin to feel that sick feeling in your stomach. Brace yourself…here it comes…
Can you relate? I know I can. No matter how much training or experience I have, I still have that momentary hit in the gut as I steel myself to hear something I might not like. Something that might attack my idea of myself. Something that might remind me that I’m less than perfect; that someone is onto me.
Luckily, over time, I’ve learned a better way. The sick feeling still hits, but I’m now able to shift out of it quickly.
I’ve realized that feedback usually has value if we can just get beyond the emotions. Often times we can’t hear what someone is saying because of either the emotion it rides on, our own emotional reaction to hearing it, or both.
- If you know feedback is coming, set an intention to receive it neutrally (not emotionally).
- Think of feedback as information; a collection of words for your consideration.
- Understand that each party involved sees life through their own filter (beliefs based on their own life experience).
- Separate the information from the emotion it rides on. In other words, if the person delivering it seems agitated or angry, try to put those emotions in one chair, the words (information) in another. Then give your attention to the information chair. Hopefully the emotion chair will sit quietly.
- Recognize the emotional reaction YOU have to the feedback, thank it and put it aside in another chair so you can consider the usefulness of the information.
Wow, with all these chairs, it seems like a party. And you know what? Receiving feedback doesn’t have to be unpleasant. I’m not sure it’s a party, but it can be an enjoyable, constructive activity.
Face it, we are all works in progress. None of us is perfect. If someone has information to help me grow…I say, bring it on.
Wanna join me?