have all experienced a time in our lives when we did not
like the way someone delivered a message to us or did not
think the feedback given was valid. It could be for a variety
of reasons. Perhaps we simply did not like the person giving
the feedback because of prior experiences with them. Maybe
we do like the person but we attached a meaning to their
words, body language or message and therefore got our feeling
times we may not recognize our own behaviors or characteristics
and may be unaware of how they affect others. Sometimes
we do recognize our behaviors yet we frame them differently
than others, therefore what might be considered a positive
attribute by one person, could be viewed as a
one by another.
why pay attention at all?
When you receive some feedback and get the urge to reject
it, PAUSE and remember that feedback is a gift. We just
may not recognize it, at first. It may not be packaged in
the most attractive way. In fact it may not even seem like
a gift at all. But it is. Remember the saying, “don’t
judge a book by its cover?” this is also true with
feedback. One thing for sure about feedback is the more
open you are to receiving it, the greater the potential
for discovering the treasure.
following are ways to shift your mindset so that you can
benefit from the feedback you receive.
Describe the Feedback Offered
Specifically what was the feedback? Just the facts, not
including your interpretations. Eliminate your “stuff”
from the equation for now, such as, you didn’t like
their tone of voice, they didn’t make eye contact,
you got feedback you didn’t expect, felt unappreciated,
got your feelings hurt or felt picked on. This is all your
“stuff.” Next, dig past their “stuff.”
Their jealousy, judgment, past baggage, anger, resentment,
jumping to conclusions, sarcasm, fear… Think of only
the feedback—pure and simple.
of feedback without “stuff” added:
wear too much perfume.”
Notice Your Immediate Reaction
One person’s immediate reaction could be, “Who
the heck are you to judge how much perfume I wear? It’s
none of your business!”
Pause and ask yourself, “What meaning have I linked
comment could have been interpreted as meaning that the
other person was cruel, self-righteous, and picking on them.
What Else Could It Mean?
Ask yourself the question: “What was their intended
good?” Keeping in mind that feedback is a gift and
the reason a person offers it is to help improve something,
find a positive reason for the feedback. Now is the time
to make interpretations—positive ones.
of positive interpretation:
The woman is concerned about her health. She has allergies.
Her daughter has asthma that is triggered by perfume. Others
have commented about your perfume and she is the only one
brave enough to say something because she cares about you
and knows you would not like people making fun of you behind
Clarify—Are Your Definitions the Same?
Find out whether you are actually referring to the same
thing. Can you remember a time when you were arguing over
something and somewhere along the line you discovered that
you had in mind something totally different than the other
person and were arguing over two different things? I know
it has happened to me. Clarify to make sure.
you say I wear too much perfume, is this all of the
time? Specifically what do you mean by too much? Please
tell me more.”
are often relieved when you respond by wanting to know more
instead the more open you are to receiving it, the greater
the potential for discovering the treasure.of immediately
rejecting their comments. Many times this verification clears
up any misunderstanding and permits information to be exchanged
Yourself — “How Can I use This?”
Once you have created some alternative meanings and verified
specifics, determine how you can possibly use the information.
Brainstorm options. Using the perfume example, perhaps you
could survey a few others about whether they think you wear
too much. A real estate agent friend of mine found out that
he was actually losing clients—they did not like to
ride in the car with him because they were bothered by his
heavy cologne. They really liked him and found him friendly
and nice but avoided him nonetheless because of the cologne.
He had some choice about what to do with this information.
Choose an Option and Use It.
After surveying his friends and co-workers and being honestly
open to hearing their feedback, he cut down on his use of
cologne. Since he has done so, his sales have increased
and people give him hugs (which he likes) much more often.
He is very happy with the results.
amazing thing about finding the nugget in the feedback you
receive is how much you can grow and benefit from using
that many people have a hard time giving feedback because
they are afraid that the person will interpret it wrong.
Don’t fall into the trap of becoming a close-minded,
suspicious individual that behaves as a victim and misconstrues
helpful information as negative. Instead choose to stay
open-minded, give the benefit of the doubt and use the gifts
you are given. Remember…
To find out more about Mary Miscisin, check out her Website