Four Steps for When Tough Feedback Catches You Off Guard..

Four Steps for When Tough Feedback Catches You Off Guard..

Four Steps for When Tough Feedback Catches You Off Guard..

We all need feedback to improve at work, but when criticism is unexpectedly harsh, your first instinct may be to run and hide.

Four steps can help you stay present and react in a productive way:

1. Collect yourself - Breathe deeply and notice how you’re feeling. Silently labeling your emotions (“I’m feeling hurt and ashamed”) can help you get some distance from them in the moment.

2. Understand - Ask the other person for details about, and examples of, the behaviour they’ve highlighted. Listen calmly, as if the conversation is about someone else.

3. Recover - Tell the person that you need to reflect and that you’ll respond when you can. Don’t agree or disagree right away with what you’ve heard. Take some time to process and evaluate it.

4. Engage - Think about the feedback, including how valid it is. Even tough criticism usually has a kernel of truth, so look for it. Then, if necessary, talk to the person again and share your thoughts.

This tip is adapted from “How to Be Resilient in the Face of Harsh Criticism,” by Joseph Grenny


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