October – 2017 Monthly Leadership Session – How To Handle Negative Feedback
As the year winds down people tend to look back and evaluate how things are going. Organizations tend to move into annual reviews and journals, books and blogs about “Your Year In Review” are springing up everywhere. While much of the standard advice is tried and true, if you don’t think about it in advance you won’t have the skills to pull from. So as well worn as these roads here are some proven ways to handle negative feedback. Let’s talk about it.
3 Highlights From This Episode
1. Listen & Take 6 Seconds
Negative feedback can be difficult to hear. Often while hearing the words we’re already forming our response. People tend to operate like the opposite of talking isn’t listening but waiting your turn to speak.
- Listening allows you to hear exactly what the criticism is before we react to it and get the full picture of the expectations.
- Listening allows you to activate the “6 Seconds Rules”
Research by Six Seconds, a global organization dedicated to awareness of emotional intelligence, says:
“It takes around 6 seconds for an emotion to get absorbed back into your body after an interaction.”
“It takes six seconds to manage anger.”
It takes six seconds to create compassion.”
When receiving negative feedback, take about 6 seconds, let the words sink in before your initial reply.
How are you at fully listening to feedback without forming an early opinion?
What benefit could you gain from waiting 6 seconds before responding to negative feedback?
2. Don’t Get Defensive
When others begin to critique our work we naturally want to defend it. The problem is, defending ourselves from the feedback of others shuts down the door to growth. Constructive feedback is meant to improve your skills, your product, your relationships. Regardless of bad motives or deliveries, there is always something that can be learned if we don’t get defensive. Mature leaders can separate the accuracy of the feedback from the quality of the delivery.
Do you find it easy or difficult to hear negative feedback?
Have you ever received accurate constructive feedback from an unexpected source?
3. Get Specific
While you’re receiving negative feedback is the best time to get as specific as possible. Here you can get clarity and the person giving the feedback and see your desire for action. This isn’t about debating the merits of the feedback but asking questions to get to the root of the issues.
Hey from time to time you can become overly aggressive during team meetings.
“I know there were a lot of discussions going on but can you share when in the meeting you thought I got aggressive?”
Acknowledge the Feedback:
You’re right that I did cut him off while he was talking, and need to apologize for that.”
Determine if it’s Isolated:
“Have you noticed this in other meetings?”
Look for Solutions:
“I’d love to hear your ideas on how I might handle this differently in the future.”
What are some specific questions you can asked about negative feedback on your end?
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