The art of receiving feedback: The feedback conversation


  • What is the purpose of the conversation?
  • What kind of feedback would you like? What kind is your giver trying to give?
  • Is the feedback negotiable or final, a friendly suggestion or a command?

The body



  • Truth trigger → Pitfall: “That advice is wrong.” → Better: “I disagree with that advice.
  • Relationship trigger → Pitfall: “You’re a self-centered jerk.” → Better: “I’m feeling under-appreciated, so it’s hard for me to focus on your feedback. I think we need to discuss how I’m feeling, as well as the feedback itself.” (avoiding switch-tracking, giving each topic its own track”)
  • Identity trigger → Pitfall: “It’s true. I’m hopeless.” → Better: “I’m surprised by all this and it’s a lot to take in. I want to take some time to think about it and digest what you’ve said. Let’s come back to it tomorrow.”

Set boundaries if needed

  • Thanks and No — I’m happy to hear your coaching . . . and I may not take it.
  • Not Now, Not About That — I need time or space, or this is too sensitive a subject right now.
  • No Feedback — Our relationship rides on your ability to keep your judgments to yourself.




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