#1 Listen Intently

There are times when feedback can be difficult to hear. In these situations, it is only normal that it is difficult to listen. We all have our own listening blocks and it important to know which ones we normally default to.

#2 Put On The Scientist Coat

A scientist is trained to do two things very well, make observations and ask questions. These are two incredible practices when we deal with feedback or criticism. Questions can give us better clarity, especially about what need to change or improve. When given some feedback think about some questions might help understand the feedback better. It is important to recognize that we may not be able to ask good questions in the moment as the feedback caught us off guard. If this is the case then ask if we can have some time to think about it and get back with any questions you might have.

#3 Don’t Take It Personally

It’s very easy to go into defensive mode. We have an inbuilt mechanism to protect ourselves when we feel under threat. It important therefore to recognize when we have been emotionally triggered, especially for anger

A simple exercise that can help is trying to visualize the words coming out of the other persons mouth fall on the table between the two of you. These are words nothing else. Try and become curious about these words. This exercise can create a little distance between you and the comments and can help prevent going into defensive mode

#4 Iceberg or Ice Cube

Not all feedback is the same. One of the reflection questions that can be useful is to ask if this is an iceberg or an ice cube. Sometimes we receive feedback that is really useful and is pointing to something we really should address. This is an iceberg. However sometimes the feedback is really not important and says more about the other person than me. In this case it is an ice cube in an ocean. It will melt away. any questions you might have.

#5 What Your Body Language

Our body language can indicate if we are engaged in the conversation or have become defensive and closed. One of the main ways to judge this is the amount of physical space our bodies are taking up. In general, when we feel less confident or in defensive mode, we make our bodies smaller. Our shoulders are curled in our heads lower. It’s like a tortoise going back into their shell. When we feel more confident and open our bodies take up up more space. The good news is that we can adjust our mood by also adjusting our body. Take a moment to notice if you have gone back into your shell. If so, adjust your posture and take up a little more space

#6 It’s A Gift

We can choose how we view the feedback we receive. If we see it as a gift it can change how we feel about it. We have all received gifts that perhaps we did not like. However even in these situations even if we did not like the gift, we could see that the intent of the person was to give us something special. Can I see the underlying intent to help me be a better version of myself, even if the feedback was unexpected and unappreciated?

#7 Improvement Plan

Feedback is part of improvement. However, for some it can amplify their self-doubt. We all make mistakes and all need feedback. It is good therefore not to dwell on the feedback itself but rather to move to a plan of action to deal with any things that needs to be adjusted. This helps us move from dwelling on the feedback to a future goal of improving our performance.


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