Lean in and Receive Feedback

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with receiving feedback about our performance.

We need to lean into difficult feedback to keep getting better.

We genuinely want to keep growing and improving. And we know we need input from others about how we are performing, how we come across and how we can be more effective.

Yet it’s tough to face the humbling reality that we don’t always perform like superstars. This is why many of us are not be receptive to feedback – let alone proactive in seeking it out.

Here are two tips to receiving feedback:

  1. Decide to ask for it – despite the urge to walk the other way – and ask specifically. E.g., What went well? How about when I did this ______? What suggestions do you have for me to perform better?
  2. Say thanks and leave it at that. Thank the person who gave you the feedback. Then resist the urge to defend or explain yourself. The risk is that your explanation may come across as defensive and cause the person not to give you feedback again. And this likely outweighs the benefit of you trying to rationalize your action.

Think of getting feedback like taking medicine or working out. You’ll be better and stronger afterwards.

Joe Baker is a Partner with PeopleResults. As a leadership consultant and executive coach, he helps leaders and teams confidently achieve extraordinary relationships and results. You can reach him at jbaker@people-results.com or on Twitter @JoeBakerJr.