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Feedback Received

We all enjoy feedback that is good. But what do you do with feedback that is …hard?

Feedback is certainly a subjective message, literally representing one view of the subject. So should we listen?

The short answer is, Yes.  Please listen. But what’s the long answer?

I have seen and received my fair share of feedback. As a perpetual student who can never stop the self-torment, I mean self-growth, that comes with pursuing new degrees and learning a new skill – Feedback. Feedback. Feedback. - is where I live.

 So what have I learned about receiving and using feedback?

Feedback should be heard with an open attitude, one in which the sender and receiver are committed to the same goals of positive growth. Feedback should be taken with a grain of salt, meaning with space for error. In the communication process, even in the best of times, we often fail to convey 100% our message and intentions. Finally, feedback should not define me or give me the identity of whatever message I get that day. As a believer, my identity is as a saved and redeemed child of God. Everything else is an opportunity to be grateful or to grow.  

Could we do feedback better? Always.

There is quite a bit of preparation going into a feedback discussion for both the sender and receiver. The sender is preparing a possibly difficult message to share. Delivering the message with genuine care and thoughtful execution is the responsibility of a good leader. Genuine caring should not necessarily indicate a softened message. It could mean a direct message, a nuanced message, a factual message that builds to a conclusion for both parties, or some other delivery. The critical element of communication is the receiver. Sender, ask yourself - how can I encourage the behavior, self-perception, or insight that I want this person to have?

The receiver has some work to do as well. Receiving feedback requires a prepared spirit. People in stress react in different ways commonly referred to as flight, fight, or fawn. And let's be honest, recieving feedback can be stressful. An effective feedback session carries the receiver through that natural response into a useful place where true hearing and growth can occur. A receiver aware of their natural response patterns may recognize the feelings and behaviors that rise with the conversation. Recognizing leads to an ability to act. So together, with aligned goals of growth and a relationship big enough to process difficult things, the sender and receiver can carry into the true growth stages.

Feedback is meant to be challenging.

Preparing doesn't mean it won't be hard. It still might sting a bit and the natural responses might show up loud and strong. But without challenge, it’s difficult to grow. So prepare for the challenge rooted in your identity and work together for growth.

If providing good feedback or accepting and growing from feedback is a skill you want to improve, 112 Advising is here to help!


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