As promised, here are my 6 easy steps to receiving feedback:
- Listen. Don’t interject. If you have a clarifying question, ask it. Otherwise keep your mouth shut.
- Say “thank you.” If someone is giving you feedback, either you asked for their opinion, or they are offering it because they believe in you and they want you to succeed.
- Write it down. All of it. The stuff that resonates, the stuff that makes no sense, the stuff that pisses you off, the stuff that affirms what you already believe. Write it all down accurately because, as much as it doesn’t seem like you will ever forget the feeling of receiving feedback (especially tough feedback), you will, and you’ll want your notes for reference.
- Sleep on it. Or go take a walk. Don’t think about the feedback for a while.
- Find what resonates. Look over your notes, and find the feedback that strikes a chord. This is an intuitive thing – an idea or a suggestion will stick out to you, your thoughts will catch on it like a sweater on a nail. Take note of these. This is the feedback that’s valuable.
Let’s stop thinking of feedback as “positive” or “negative.” Let’s think of all feedback the way bats use sonar. It helps us position ourselves in the darkness. It informs our next move. It helps us navigate. If we can stop taking feedback personally, we can implement it more effectively.