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Receiving Feedback

Receiving feedback is often just as challenging as delivering it, even when the message is positive. The part of our brain that regulates emotions and mental agility - the prefrontal cortex is hijacked by the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of our brain that creates emotions, its evolutionary purpose is to minimize danger and maximize rewards.

When we receive feedback our brains experience stress and equate that stress to danger triggering a flight - fight - freeze response.

When you find yourself in a situation where you are receiving feedback try the following steps. Being able to receive feedback graciously is a key differentiator as you rise up the leadership ranks...

  • Focus on what is being said, not on who is saying it. Try to assume positive intent on the part of the person giving the feedback. It takes courage to give feedback - try to remember that as they speak.

  • Listen deeply with an open mind. What is the core message being shared here?

  • If the feedback isn't totally clear to you - ask clarifying questions to get details, understand the impact of the behavior on yourself, your teammates

  • Avoid rejecting the feedback or becoming defensive or over explaining - keep asking questions to completely understand the feedback

Most feedback has at least an element of truth, so there will often be appropriate next steps,

The important thing - every time you receive feedback is to give it serious consideration regardless of who share it.

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