EYN#016 - Turning Feedback into Fuel: 5 Steps to Supercharge How You Receive Feedback.

Jan 02, 2024
Man eating breakfast looking like he's been caught.

Read Time: 3 mins

What an amazing gift feedback is. It's fuel for your learning.  It can make you better.  It's a gift.


But people are terrible at receiving feedback.  How do you receive yours?


  • Sad and upset
  • Angry
  • Defensive
  • Blame Others


Or do you dine on it, like the breakfast of champions?


I had to learn how to receive feedback.  Rationally I loved the idea of feedback, but in the heat of the moment had to learn how to control my emotions and initial reactions.


For example, having expended weeks of energy on a project, to then be told everything  that was wrong with it, created an emotional reaction within me.  But rationally I wanted to hear the feedback. 


Actually, this still happens, so here's what I put into practice to make sure I can appreciate the gift of feedback.


1. Listen


  • Manage My Emotions - I have to try really hard to keep my poker face on.  My face will often change when receiving feedback, which shuts down the feedback.  I have to keep my neutral face on and keep my poise.
  • Say Thank You - Calmly thank the person for taking the time to share the feedback with you.  It is a gift.
  • Restate What I've Heard - Make sure I've heard and internalised the feedback.  Make notes if appropriate.


2. Reflect


  • Let the Emotion Dissipate - Take some time. Minutes, hours, days to let the emotion dissipate.
  • Think about it Rationally - I don't want my brain in fight or flight mode.  I want to logically consider the feedback I've heard.  The best feedback can be the hardest to hear.
  • Do I Trust the Person Who Provided the Feedback? - "Opinions are like butt holes, everyone's got one."  Does the feedback align to your values and do you agree with it?


3. Gather


  • Do I Need More Perspectives? - Were other people there and what feedback do they have?
  • Were There Any Recordings Of The Event?  Can I re-watch the session/meeting with the feedback in mind?


4. Act (or don't)


  • Pearl of Wisdom? - I've heard something insightful and valuable.  What action do I need to take to apply it?  Let's build a plan on how to make changes, develop a skill or rectify the situation.
  • Pearl of Rot? - Discard it.  Put it behind you and keep doing what you're doing.


5. Repeat


  • Keep Your Growth Mindset On - Keep learning.  Feedback makes me stronger.
  • Continually Seek Feedback - “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” What a way to get amazing insight on how to improve.




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