Keep Your Cool When Getting Feedback

No one likes to hear that they aren’t performing well. Yet, everyone can improve. Next time you receive constructive feedback, do these three things: 

  • Relax. It’s understandable to be nervous during a feedback session. The other person holds all the power. Accept this imbalance and be easy on yourself.
  • Expect to be surprised. You’re likely to hear something that you weren’t aware of. Perhaps something was a bigger deal than you thought, or something you thought was resolved wasn’t.
  • Don’t be defensive. Even if you disagree, hold your tongue. Instead of defending yourself, ask questions. Once you’ve cooled down, you can always follow up.

Adapted from “How to Keep Your Cool During a Performance Review” by Robert M. Galford. http://hbr.org/tip?date=041812#

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