I’m sure that everyone reading this wants to improve themselves or their lives in some way. Yet, when someone approaches us with feedback or constructive criticism, we sometimes have a tendency to take it personally and ignore the advice given, or even bite back at the person giving it.
If you’re the kind of person that can take feedback constructively, then you could go really far in whatever it is you aspire to. You can take any feedback on board in an attempt to better yourselves. If you’re not, then it’s time to change that.
Think before you react
When we respond badly to feedback, it’s normally because we act before we think. Then, we often regret what we said or did when thinking about it later. We go into defensive mode and our emotional brain completely takes over the rational side. When you receive feedback, take a few moments to process it before reacting.
If it’s face-to-face feedback, then this may only be a couple of seconds, but that gives you time to control your knee-jerk reaction. If you’re reading feedback over email, for example, then you can take longer to process the information and formulate a considered response.
Understand what they’re saying
It’s important to listen to the feedback carefully and make sure you understand the perspective being given. Ask questions for clarification if there’s anything you don’t understand. But, this doesn’t mean start an argument with that person. Just make sure you understand the feedback so that you can take it away and work on it personally.
Once you’re past the knee-jerk reaction of being offended or defensive, you should be grateful for receiving this feedback. It probably wasn’t easy for the person to be so upfront with you in this way, and they most likely have your best interests in mind. So, you should thank that person for approaching you about this and giving you the chance to improve.
Constructive criticism provides you with a chance to become better, so don’t brush it off as an insult. Get in touch if this is an area you feel you need coaching in.