As we wrap up this series on the Gifts of Receiving Feedback I want to mention that it’s equally important to take in and fully receive positive feedback. Even if we like to hear positive feedback we can still struggle with fully taking it in.
We may have a tendency to speak disparagingly about the things for which we are being complimented. Rather than taking it to heart and simply saying thank you, we’ve been conditioned to be humble, deflecting the statement.
Like we do when we receive negative feedback, we also become self-conscious when given positive feedback. It’s something we don’t always know how to interpret or what we should do with it.
However, we need both positive and negative feedback to grow in our capacity to become the best version of ourselves as leaders.
This is part 5 in the 5-part series on the Art of Receiving Feedback by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.Choose to view negative feedback as an opportunity to grow smarter, stronger, and wiser. Click To Tweet
We’ve been discussing the art of receiving feedback. This is key for you, as a leader because organizations need to respond with agility to changing market needs. To do this leaders must be able to shift, grow, and change frequently.
Today’s leaders need to continually learn through feedback loops, none more important than those that happen during conversations about change. But receiving feedback is difficult. We don’t always accept it because we don’t like hearing that we may not be enough or that we may have failed or need to change. Humility is not a universal trait.
Authors Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen in Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Penguin Books, 2014) suggest that no matter what, you should find a nugget in the feedback you receive, rather than rejecting it outright.
Grow despite unfair feedback.
Personal growth may be the last thing you think about after receiving negative feedback. Instead of seeing unfair remarks as a setback, choose to view them as an opportunity to grow smarter, stronger, and wiser.
The following strategies can help:
- Filter input.
Which information is credible? Which feedback strains feel off? Discard the comments you believe to be invalid, using some type of objective measuring stick.
- Try to see the feedback giver’s perspective.
We all have different perspectives on any given situation because of our different strengths lens. Depersonalize the comments to hear the nuggets of truth within the feedback.
- Identify your blind spots, and do something about them.
If you receive similar feedback from multiple sources, there’s likely something you’re not seeing. Rely on a close circle of trusted advisors to set your perspectives straight.
- Be mindful of your historic response patterns.
Others see them even if you don’t. Ask for feedback from your trusted advisors. Alternatively, engage a professional coach to help you discover what you can’t see by yourself.
We make conscious choices when dealing with feedback:
- We can be learners or rejecters.
- We can grow or get upset.
- We can listen or ignore.
- We can be open to seeing ourselves for who we are and who we might become, or we can be comfortable with the status quo.
- We can establish boundaries and recognize unfairness, or we can accept all statements as criticism.
Making positive choices offers the possibilities of many benefits, including improved self-esteem, aspirations, satisfaction, relationships, trust, accountability, emotional well-being, accomplishment-based thinking, workplace culture, and organizational contribution.
These rewards will carry over into your personal life, as well. Great leaders keep their emotions in check, appropriately respond to feedback and appreciate the gift of knowledge they’re receiving.