How to respond to feedback without being defensive.

We are all inevitably entrenched in today’s high feedback, high output culture.

There is an enormous pressure to accept feedback and continuously adapt to it at the same pace as we receive it.

Indeed, the cultural shift towards making immediate micro-adjustments in real-time increases the urge in all of us to take everything to heart and make drastic emotionally-driven changes within ourselves without much discernment.

It is essential for our mental health and wellbeing as well as our performance that we evolve the way we hear, understand, and respond to feedback.

Developing an informed process around receiving and implementing other people’s constructive criticisms is a worthwhile investment. Not only will it clarify and improve the relationships that you have with others, but it will also encourage honest and healthy self-reflection.

Here are the steps you need to filter and healthily implement feedback:

FILTER FIRST.

GET A SECOND OPINION BEFORE TAKING ANY ACTION.

MAKE A CONSCIOUS CHOICE TO RESPOND.

Once you decide to take specific feedback into account, ensure that you understand someone's request of you. This understanding will inform your reaction to the input and determine how much you will consider it moving forward.
You are not obligated to make any changes unless you feel as though it would be in the best interest of the connection you have with that person and yourself.

IT'S ALL IN THE DELIVERY.

Remember that feedback, at its core, is about the relationship between two people. It's too often delivered as an accusatory comment on someone's character.
Consider this as you receive feedback in personal and professional settings. If you feel particularly upset or defensive about the feedback you've received, it could be because it feels like a negative comment on who you are instead of what you do.

We cannot change who we are, nor should we. Still, we can easily adjust our behaviour to alleviate friction with those around us, if it serves us to do so. If you understand how to receive feedback, you can also give it to others in a way that is kind, thoughtful, and helpful to them in their growth and evolution.

REFLECTIVE QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER BEFORE GIVING OR RECEIVING FEEDBACK.

How do you feel about feedback?

Do you find it easy to receive feedback and make adjustments?

How would you like to receive feedback?

How do you like to give feedback?

What is the desired behaviour change from the feedback?

Executive & Leadership Development Specialist for Individual & Organisational Performance. www.silewalsh.com Podcast: Tilted Coaching #Coachingpsychology

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