Why is it that some people can handle feedback and others take it badly? Is it something about their personality, their approach, their skill level or something else altogether? Well this is a conversation I get into quite a lot, probably because I believe it’s soooo very important. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about getting feedback from a friend or your boss, the basics are the same. Luckily, irrespective of how bad someone is at handing out the stuff, YOU need only pay attention to your end – how you take it.
So, how do you take it?
You might be like Paul, someone I know, who goes into his shell, says nothing but seethes and never forgets he’s been ‘wronged’. Or like a friend of mine, Rizia who, like a crazy person wants to really get under your comments and understand the essence of what she needs to be doing differently. Imagine similar feedback being given to both. The one who is able to let go of their ego and take the comments as though someone is looking out for them, giving them guidance, the higher the chance of them not being personally marred.
Whichever camp you’re in, you can get better
Unfortunately, too many people see negative feedback as failure, and when this happens, they become afraid of receiving feedback, always fearing the worst. The skill is in separating the negative feedback from our personal self (or ego), looking at it objectively and becoming curious as to what we could do differently next time. Learn to do this and every experience becomes one to learn from – what an adventure!
How adventurous are you?
Know that change is possible. So if you’re in the camp that finds it hard to take negative feedback well, just get out of your own way! Listen to the message and respond to that and not to the impact on your ego.