Last month, I wrote about the importance of giving effective feedback and shared tips for how to deliver a tough message. But there’s the recipient’s experience to consider as well, because there’s no escaping feedback in life.
Feedback could the pain we experience after accidentally touching a hot stove burner, or the humiliating words we hear from a friend, coworker or boss about how we need to change our game. Then, there’s that internal voice that berates us with, “How could I have said that?”
Constantly, we are reminded of how we are doing,or whether we are living up to our personal values or the expectations of others.
So, feedback is a fact of life and fundamental to our success. Without it, the status quo would prevail, “average” would become the norm and new discoveries and results might not occur at all.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we are ready, willing or able to listen, especially to tough feedback. As Amy Jen Su eloquently described in the Harvard Business Review, feedback, even delivered effectively, can feel like a punch in the stomach, causing us to recoil and reject the message out of hand.
I’m personally still learning to embrace “the gift of feedback,” especially when it doesn’t match my expectations. When I’m blindsided, I can anguish for days or weeks, lose sleep, hesitate when I should take action, lose my…