My City Woman's blog on how to accept feedback without being offended

How To Accept Feedback Without Being Offended

Accepting feedback is one of the key management skill. The Chairman and CEO of Pepsico once said ” Women need to learn to take constructive criticism in their stride, especially when coming from another woman.” In general women are more prone to getting defensive than men on receiving feedback. Here is how to accept feedback without being offended.

Rule #1 Hold on to your immediate thoughtsindira nooyi onon Women need to learn to take constructive criticism

DO NOT give impulsive reactions to the feedback you receive. May be there is a reason and you might have overlooked the aspect.

Nooyi also goes on to add “Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent” You will be amazed at how the whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed.”

Rule #2 Think objectively

Once you have won over the feeling that someone is trying to pull you down, you would be able to think more objectively. Try  to understand the feedback. Calm yourself down as you think about all the positive outcomes of getting the feedback – self improvement, perspective of yourself from others, better relationships and so on.

Rule#3  Ask questions

Ask questions as to what has prompted the feedback coming to you. DO NOT jump to give explanations to those questions there and then. LISTEN. There may be a major perception or information gap both at your end and that of the person giving you the feedback. Just soak it in.

Rule#4 Take time to revert

Feedback coming in from your peers and managers must be seriously taken. Request for time to revert back with a solution to the problem. Consider this conversation:

Your manager “Hey Matt, lately I have seen you cutting off people during meetings. What up?”

You “Hey, I am sorry, but I didn’t mean to! I apologised to Sarah already.”

Your manager “Oh, Great”

You “Has there been any other occasion where you have noticed this?

Your manager “Hmm, no, not really.

This kind of objective discussion has multiple advantages.

One, it clears the air between the two of you – that you were not rude on purpose.

 Two, it prevents a bias in the mind of your manager that you always cut people off during meetings. Three, next time your manager may approach you more likely with a feedback, because she knows you will take it well without offence.

Rule #5 Say Thank youMy City Woman's tips to accept feedback without being offended

This is the tough part of the conversation, but say thank you for the feedback. It takes courage for the other person to approach you with a feedback. Accept it with grace.

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