Some tend to get defensive (no I don’t), resistant (not that big a deal) or skeptical (I’ll take it under advisement). A few go so far as to agree and accept what they hear but do nothing with it. I’m always interested to observe how individuals respond to the feedback they get because it says volumes about who they are and their likelihood of accelerating their development.
People who give you feedback, especially corrective (vs confirming) are going out on a limb. They are telling you something that will make you better or more effective. They are giving you a gift that you should accept with appreciation and gratitude, not sling it back at them with resentment.
Feedback is especially important (and more scarce) the longer you’re in the profession. People are less willing to tell you things that they assume you’ve already heard before but have decided not to act on. This is one of the reasons why seasoned professionals have executive coaches.
In the end, it’s a balancing act where you are constantly having to expand your capabilities. You must balance when to be competitive with being cooperative; when to go the extra mile without being taken advantage of; doing it on your own with asking for help and being driven with being patient.
And you have to accept hard-to-hear feedback without taking it personally.
So, how do you respond to feedback? Do people experience you as welcoming to their insights? Do they sense that you are appreciative? Do you make it easier the next time for them to tell you more of what they see? Your response to their feedback says it all.
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