How to find the 'gifts' in feedback

Research shows that 63% of managers are 'unable or unwilling' to have difficult feedback conversations. (Triad Consulting 2014)

Whilst to give critical feedback may trigger an 'avoidance response', to receive critical feedback often elicits a 'defensive reaction'.

To help you find the gifts in and to learn from critical feedback, here are three things that will help you to be a 'better receiver': 

  1. Separate the 'what' from the 'who' - seek to find the gift in the message rather than to target the messenger.
  2. Seek to understand the 'gifts' - often the message is not clear nor understood. Ask for clarity and for examples of what they mean.
  3. Seek their feed-forward - ask them for one thing you need to do to help you be more effective. Then do it!

You have a choice - either be open to learn and grow or be defensive and stagnate. It's your call.