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Posts Tagged ‘Open to Feedback’

Be Open to Feedback and Manage Your Career

As crazy as it sounds, your manager is afraid of you – afraid of your defensive reaction to feedback.

The normal reaction to feedback is to get upset. The problem is, no one wants to deal with our upset. It makes them uncomfortable. So managers and peers alike start to pick and choose what to tell us. Not wanting to deal with our reaction, they start to pick their battles. The more defensive we are, the less feedback we get. The less feedback we get, the less information about our performance we have. The less information we have about our performance, the less control we have over our careerEtip4.29.16(2)

All of us have been passed over for an opportunity at work – a promotion, raise, project, etc. – and for the most part, we have no idea why, because no one wants to risk our defensive response to tell us. This lack of knowledge makes it hard to manage your career. And to be frank, defensive people are extraordinarily difficult to work with. Having to watch every word, walk on egg shells, and be choosy about what to address and what to avoid is exhausting. Be receptive and thus easier to work with.

I teach managers to screen out candidates who aren’t coachable and receptive to feedback. Work is hard enough without hiring people who aren’t coachable. Being open to feedback makes you easier to work with.

Here are three ways to be open to feedback and increase receptiveness:

Tip one to be open to feedback and increase receptiveness:  Don’t underestimate the power of your emotions and the intrinsic drive to defend yourself when receiving feedback. Not defending oneself is extremely challenging. And even the most minor reaction sounds defensive. I.e., “Thank you for the feedback. Here’s why we did it that way…”

Tip two to be open to feedback and increase receptiveness:  Wait a few minutes, hours or days, and respond to feedback when you’re calm. That could sound like, “Thanks for telling me. I’m sorry that happened. I’m going to think about what you said and get back to you by the end of the day.”

Tip three to be open to feedback and increase receptiveness:  Come from a place of curiosity when seeking feedback versus thinking “there’s something wrong here” and “I’m bad.” Be curious about how you impact others and the impression you make. Seek feedback to understand both.

Etip5.10.16_02

Responding to Feedback – Do the Opposite of What People Expect

Accepting feedbackMost people avoid giving feedback because they’re concerned about (don’t want to deal with) the other person’s defensive response. It’s easier to say nothing than deal with someone’s defensiveness. So we say things are fine when they’re not.

If you want people to tell you the truth, do the opposite of what they expect when responding to feedback. Rather than become defensive, say, “thank you.”

Saying “thank you for the feedback” is not intended to be a pollyanna response, nor does it mean you agree and that the person is right. Saying “thank you” catches the other person off guard (in a good way) and buys you time to think and respond calmly, making it more likely that you’ll get feedback in the future.

Each of us wants to be thought well of and be seen as competent. Negative feedback calls both into question and the brain responds defensively. The challenge is that defensive responses scare other people into silence. And you only need to get defensive once for people to believe that you don’t deal well with feedback.

Don’t underestimate the power of your emotions and ego. You are likely to respond to feedback defensively, even if you don’t see yourself do it. A seemingly benign ‘explanation’ of why you did something as you did it, is seen as defensive and is thus off putting to others.

Here are six strategies for responding to feedback well:

  1. Responding to feedback strategy one: Have feedback conversations when you have the time to listen and are rested. If you’re tired, on a deadline, or rushing to your next meeting, the conversation will not go well.
  2. Responding to feedback strategy two: If someone catches you off guard with feedback and you know you won’t respond well, interrupt the person. Tell him that you appreciate him bringing this to your attention and you want to give the conversation the attention it deserves, but now isn’t a good time. Schedule a time to finish the conversation within a few days.
  1. Responding to feedback strategy three: Have a plan for how you’re going to respond to scheduled/planned feedback conversations before the conversations start.  Tell yourself, “I will say thank you, end the conversation, and ask for another time to talk.”
  1. Responding to feedback strategy four: If you receive feedback that doesn’t feel accurate, ask others, who you trust, what they think. Just be prepared to hear what they have to say, and, of course, respond with “thank you.”
  1. Responding to feedback strategy five: Don’t respond to negative feedback in the moment, even if the other person wants you to and you think you can do so without being defensive. Don’t underestimate the power of your emotions. You will be upset, even if you don’t feel upset, and your response will be better after you’ve had time to process. Tell the person who gave you feedback that you take their feedback seriously and want to respond thoughtfully, and thus you’re going to think about what s/he said before responding. People may be frustrated with this response at first, but they’ll be appreciative later.
  1. Responding to feedback strategy six: Be sure to get back to the person, who has feedback for you, within a few days. Tell him you thought about what he said and then tell him how you feel. You can speak candidly. Your words will be calmer and more thoughtful then when you received the initial feedback.

We know people are hesitant to give feedback. Make giving you feedback easier by responding calmly. No one expects to hear “thank you for the feedback.” Your unemotional response will strengthen your reputation and relationships, and make it more likely that you get more feedback in the future.

Book Feedback


Be Open to Feedback and Manage Your Career

Etip4.29.16(2)

As crazy as it sounds, your manager is afraid of you – afraid of your defensive reaction to feedback.

The normal reaction to feedback is to get upset. The problem is, no one wants to deal with our upset. It makes them uncomfortable. So managers and peers alike start to pick and choose what to tell us. Not wanting to deal with our reaction, they start to pick their battles. The more defensive we are, the less feedback we get. The less feedback we get, the less information about our performance we have. The less information we have about our performance, the less control we have over our career.

All of us have been passed over for an opportunity at work – a promotion, raise, project, etc. – and for the most part, we have no idea why, because no one wants to risk our defensive response to tell us. This lack of knowledge makes it hard to manage your career. And to be frank, defensive people are extraordinarily difficult to work with. Having to watch every word, walk on egg shells, and be choosy about what to address and what to avoid is exhausting. Be receptive and thus easier to work with.

I teach managers to screen out candidates who aren’t coachable and receptive to feedback. Work is hard enough without hiring people who aren’t coachable. Being open to feedback makes you easier to work with.

Here are three ways to be open to feedback and increase receptiveness:

Tip one to be open to feedback and increase receptiveness:  Don’t underestimate the power of your emotions and the intrinsic drive to defend yourself when receiving feedback. Not defending oneself is extremely challenging. And even the most minor reaction sounds defensive. I.e., “Thank you for the feedback. Here’s why we did it that way…”

Tip two to be open to feedback and increase receptiveness:  Wait a few minutes, hours or days, and respond to feedback when you’re calm. That could sound like, “Thanks for telling me. I’m sorry that happened. I’m going to think about what you said and get back to you by the end of the day.”

Tip three to be open to feedback and increase receptiveness:  Come from a place of curiosity when seeking feedback versus thinking “there’s something wrong here” and “I’m bad.” Be curious about how you impact others and the impression you make. Seek feedback to understand both.

Etip5.10.16_02

Responding to Feedback – Do the Opposite of What People Expect

Responding to feedback

Most people avoid giving feedback because they’re concerned about (don’t want to deal with) the other person’s defensive response. It’s easier to say nothing than deal with someone’s defensiveness. So we say things are fine when they’re not.

If you want people to tell you the truth, do the opposite of what they expect when responding to feedback. Rather than become defensive, say, “thank you.”

Saying “thank you for the feedback” is not intended to be a pollyanna response, nor does it mean you agree and that the person is right. Saying “thank you” catches the other person off guard (in a good way) and buys you time to think and respond calmly, making it more likely that you’ll get feedback in the future.

Each of us wants to be thought well of and be seen as competent. Negative feedback calls both into question and the brain responds defensively. The challenge is that defensive responses scare other people into silence. And you only need to get defensive once for people to believe that you don’t deal well with feedback.

Don’t underestimate the power of your emotions and ego. You are likely to respond to feedback defensively, even if you don’t see yourself do it. A seemingly benign ‘explanation’ of why you did something as you did it, is seen as defensive and is thus off putting to others.

Here are six strategies for responding to feedback well:

  1. Responding to feedback strategy one: Have feedback conversations when you have the time to listen and are rested. If you’re tired, on a deadline, or rushing to your next meeting, the conversation will not go well.
  2. Responding to feedback strategy two: If someone catches you off guard with feedback and you know you won’t respond well, interrupt the person. Tell him that you appreciate him bringing this to your attention and you want to give the conversation the attention it deserves, but now isn’t a good time. Schedule a time to finish the conversation within a few days.
  1. Responding to feedback strategy three: Have a plan for how you’re going to respond to scheduled/planned feedback conversations before the conversations start.  Tell yourself, “I will say thank you, end the conversation, and ask for another time to talk.”
  1. Responding to feedback strategy four: If you receive feedback that doesn’t feel accurate, ask others, who you trust, what they think. Just be prepared to hear what they have to say, and, of course, respond with “thank you.”
  1. Responding to feedback strategy five: Don’t respond to negative feedback in the moment, even if the other person wants you to and you think you can do so without being defensive. Don’t underestimate the power of your emotions. You will be upset, even if you don’t feel upset, and your response will be better after you’ve had time to process. Tell the person who gave you feedback that you take their feedback seriously and want to respond thoughtfully, and thus you’re going to think about what s/he said before responding. People may be frustrated with this response at first, but they’ll be appreciative later.
  1. Responding to feedback strategy six: Be sure to get back to the person, who has feedback for you, within a few days. Tell him you thought about what he said and then tell him how you feel. You can speak candidly. Your words will be calmer and more thoughtful then when you received the initial feedback.

We know people are hesitant to give feedback. Make giving you feedback easier by responding calmly. No one expects to hear “thank you for the feedback.” Your unemotional response will strengthen your reputation and relationships, and make it more likely that you get more feedback in the future.

Book Feedback


Open to Feedback – Train People to Tell You the Truth

Looking for a 5 10’, 45 year-old with some of his hair. Must enjoy long walks on the beach, dogs, and great conversations. No baggage please!!

At work this might sounds like, looking for employees who will do good work with little to no oversight, be open to feedback, and never get defensive, no matter what bad news we give them.  Otherwise known as, no baggage.

Unless you work alone, you know that people come with baggage. I’m calling our negative experiences with other people –parents who lost their tempers when we expressed a counter point-of-view, bosses who punished us for saying what we really thought, and peers who killed us off when we told them the truth – baggage. Every time we got yelled at, in trouble, or punished in any way for giving feedback, we learned it was not safe to speak up.

Your direct reports and coworkers have been trained by every person who came before you, both personally and professionally.  We have all been trained.

We all know that when we tell most people what we really think, and they don’t like it, there are negative consequences. So we learn, pretty quickly, to keep our opinions to ourselves.

If you want people to tell you the truth about what’s not working in your organization or about your own performance, you need to retrain them. You need to get your employees and coworkers to believe that it’s safe to tell you the truth, even when the news is bad.

So how do you make people feel safe giving feedback and speaking up? Be open to feedback:

  1. Ask for their opinion.
  2. Promise that no matter what they tell you, you will say “thank you”.
  3. Manage yourself and ensure the other person felt heard. Say “thank you” out loud, regardless of what you say inside your head.
  4. Then walk away.
  5. Once you’ve had some time to process the feedback, you can go back to the person to discuss it.
  6. If you got defensive, apologize and recommit

Every time you get defensive you train people it’s not safe to tell you the truth. The more often you ask for input and are open to feedback, the more information you’ll get.

 


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