Three questions that’ll change the way you think about the ‘F’ word
My Mum is always growling at me for my language – sorry not sorry Mum – this F word is the really nasty one.
Yup, even mentioning that word can make the bravest of people whimper a little.
If you have the unicorn boss/manager/partner who knows how to give really great, productive feedback, then you can go back to what you were doing. Enjoy your day.
On the other hand – how do you manage feedback (even well meaning) that just doesn’t sit well?
Forms of Feedback
Let’s be broad and experiential here:
- From your boss in your ‘annual’ review (btw I have a very active dislike for reviews being done annually)
- In the media – things you read about yourself in the media or online (and if you chose not to go there, know that your family will, and so will other people you care about)
- From a friend, or frenemy
- Or any other well intentioned, or otherwise, person.
Ask yourself these 3 questions
1. Does this person know what they’re talking about?
Chances are they may not. Social media and the internet are producing a lot of people who would probably get punched in the face if they weren’t hiding behind their keyboard. You can choose to discount their opinion, if you really can do that. Or if it’s still a niggle, have a think about question 2 and question 3. And there’s also a chance that they do know, and have shared a real experience with you. In which case it’s question 3 that’ll tweak the buttons of your growth mindset.
2. Is this just their sh*tty view of the world? We all bring biases, conscious and unconscious, to our thinking.
It’s a very human thing to be looking for connections and finding conclusions. This one is pretty obvious when the feedback is not the thing you wanted to hear. And also applies when you hear something good, and have that jiggly feeling of that person being a lot (or a little) off the money. Step outside of the feedback and have an outside in look at it. What insights are you getting?
3. What do I want to pay attention to?
This is the real learning piece. While it might be a tangible growth target that comes directly from the feedback, there may be another insight that’s worthy of your attention. Pay attention to the emotion you’re feeling. What’s it telling you? Are you blindsided by something that suddenly rings true? Or is this an opportunity to develop a softer skill that’s been holding you back? Be curious as to what’s really at play. Perhaps your leadership style is being reflected back to you?
Here’s another takeaway – using this formula to process and manage feedback is a huge contributor to growing your resilience.
Whatever your learning, it’s your responsibility to take agency with any form of feedback and use it as a strategic resource for your own growth.
You’ll probably sleep better too.