Receiving feedback

Is it easy for you to receive feedback? For most of my life, you could give me positive feedback all day long. I would tend to dismiss it, but I’d be emotionally happy. If i received negative feedback, my stomach clenched as my jaw froze into a slight tight smile, which may have looked like terror. Actually, I probably didn’t even smile. And, I would escape as soon as possible from the environment. Probably, the only thing I did right was not to respond in the moment.

No doubt my discomfort goes back to my childhood. Feedback was correction. I got it because I was “bad”. Being bad was shameful. It is very hard to receive feedback if you turn into your three year old self. You want to fight or flee.

As an adult, I want to improve every day. I feel secure enough in who I am and the work I do to stay open and listen deeply to how I need to improve. Sigh, it took me so long to get this place. Don’t lose heart if it is hard for you, too.

Dr. Eve Meceda in her talk Mindset Changes Everything has a few memorable tips on receiving feedback.

  1. Don’t interrupt.
  2. There are two initial replies, thank you, or please tell me more.
  3. Take time to process before responding.

If you think about moments in the past when you received feedback, you may realize that there is more that you need in that type of situation.

If you are a visual learner, you may need to read it as well as hear it.

If you are an auditory learner, you may want to hear it before you read it.

If you are a kinesthetic learner, you may want to write it down as you hear it.

It is okay to ask for feedback in your learning style.

Regular fair and accurate informal feedback is the gold standard here. If we want to receive it, we have to make others comfortable giving it. What can you work on this week to make asking for and receiving feedback a regular practice?



Photo of the Dye siblings, May 31, 2019 Jensen Beach, FL