Are You Good At Receiving Feedback?
I'm an only child and my parents are two of the most nurturing and laid back people around. So, sans siblings to tease me, I didn't get much practice receiving frequent critique. Through school and work, feedback never felt like a point of friction, but more recently I find it much more difficult to take in. Do you feel similarly since having your child?
After a glass of wine it will inevitably come up with other moms that parenting and any tangental choices on career or lifestyle seem to invite eager commentary, welcome or not. For the first year, I wrote off my sensitivity to being a new mother but unfortunately that excuse grows old, literally. While there are some people I'm sure we would all like to coach on giving feedback, I would love to receive it with a bit more grace and open-mindedness. With a combination of an understanding of my own poor patterns, advice from friends and the always knowledgeable Forbes, I've compiled a three step plan:
1. Resist the urge to cross arms and glare. Trying to stay neutral is tough but clamming up will often make the feedback giver think they have to try harder to get the point across (no one wants that!). I have to work extra hard at truly listening to the points as opposed to immediately getting enveloped by irritation.
2. Responding with an argument accomplishes little besides seeming defensive. So best, according to the Forbes read and a few dear friends, is to say "Thank you" and "I'll think about that" (even if at the moment the feedback seems 100% wrong). Note: This one feels like a real challenge.
3. Take it in on your own time. Does it come from someone you trust on the topic? Or does the person generally have differing views? Does it hurt because there's truth to it or because you feel misunderstood? Pending how relevant you determine the feedback to be, observe and see how related actions or choices may be giving cause to critique.
For motherhood and womanhood, I find the tricky part lies in staying open to the help to grow and be better while trusting your gut when feedback doesn't feel right or helpful.
How do you do at receiving feedback? If it comes naturally to you, what advice do you have? I'd love you to add your thoughts in the comments. xo