This week’s blog is going to be slightly different. I’ve been having a blast getting my latest ebook ready for you. (incase you’re just chiming in, I have an ebook coming out! Shi(f)t: Turning Fecal Matter into Feedback That Matters. All about getting the most out of difficult feedback.
The book just launched on Jan 20th! So, for this week’s blog, I’m going to answer a few of the questions you asked in our survey. If you’re not subscribed and would like to join in on the conversation, simply go to www.mistiburmeister.com, sign up in the bottom right hand corner, and download your free secrets to avoid being mediocre… along with other valuable tips and strategies… delivered right to your inbox.
Here’s the question you answered in our survey – “What are the key questions that ABSOLUTELY MUST BE ANSWERED in, “SHI(F)T: Turning Fecal Matter Into Feedback That Matters”
While we received dozens of excellent, for the sake of time, we will focus on your top three questions. Throughout the coming weeks, all questions (including your newly submitted ones) will be answered during our new monthly question/answer blog.
The first question…
What is the most valuable thing we can request from the person offering up feedback, even if we don’t like or agree with the feedback, prior to closing out the conversation. In other words, how can we leave the conversation feeling more empowered rather than defeated?
First, recognize that giving difficult feedback is far from easy. Most of us would rather the other person simply know how to course correct on their own. If they did, we wouldn’t have to deal with feeling bad about hurting feelings, or the potential on slot of aggressive defenses.
So, how can you leave the conversation feeling empowered? Say, “Thank you for your feedback. It helps me understand how I’m coming across (to you), which gives me the opportunity to make adjustments.”
If one person gives you difficult feedback, consider adjusting as best you can when you’re around that person. If several people give you the same (or similar) feedback, consider asking them what you can do differently to get a better result.
Years ago, one person told me I had an irritatingly loud laugh. My thought, “Get over it!” A few years later, two more people gave me similar feedback. So, I dug deeper and realized that one of the ways I deal with my insecurities in public is to increase the pitch in my already loud laugh.
There’s value in all feedback, so keep it coming in by saying, “Thank you!” When you walk away, be proud of yourself for handling difficult feedback so well. Remember, the feedback is not really about you – it’s about their experience of you. So, don’t take it personally, and make adjusts where you want to improve your results. The adjustments you make are really for you… to get better results.
The second question…
How do you objectively evaluate negative feedback to determine if it is real?
All feedback is real. The better question might be, “Do I care enough about how I come across in this persons life to make adjustments in my behavior?”
Another question might be, “Have I received feedback similar to this in the past?” Also, “What benefit might I get if I let down my guard and simply adjust my behavior?”
It’s easy to get trapped in “right verses wrong” conversations. And, the problem with those defensive conversations is that they close the door for further feedback… feedback that just might cause stronger, and more meaningful relationships.
The third question…
In the past, I’ve found it difficult to separate my emotions when it comes to criticisms that I received. Once faced with the criticism, it is difficult to know where to go from there. It would be great to have a go to outline of what to do once getting a giant heap of criticism.
While there are some awesome check-lists inside Shi(f)t, here’s a simple 3-step process to use when getting a giant heap of criticism.
Step 1: Breath. Whenever you feel attacked, your body naturally jumps into an old pattern to protect you. It literally stops the blood flow at the base of your brain (amygdala), which prohibits you from getting access to your frontal lobe, which is where reasoning happens. You can halt that process by taking several minutes (sometimes hours or days, depending on how triggered you are) to simply focus on your breath.
Step 2: Repeat. Make sure you understood what the person meant by what they said. To do this, simply say, “What I heard you say is ___. Did I understand you right?” Often, we end up reacting to a story we made up about what that person said. You can stop that by asking for clarification.
Step 3: “Thank you.” As I mentioned earlier, giving critical feedback is difficult, and most people have good intentions. They simply don’t know how to give the feedback in a way that is palatable for you. Rather than shut the feedback down, breath long enough to ensure you get value out of the feedback. And, keep it coming in by thanking the person who honest enough to help you… understand how you come across in their world.
Bonus step: Not Personal. In Dan Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, he outlines “Not taking things personally” as one of his agreements. Consider this approach: the problem (for them) is with your behavior, not you. Separate the two so you get the benefit of continual learning and growth.
Ok- that’s all the time we have for today.
Get your questions answered by simply shooting me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org …or go to www.mistiburmeister.com/blog and submit your questions in the comments section – either way, your questions will be delivered directly to me.
Last Sunday’s podcast featured 2 chapters from Shi(f)t, so go check it out! I look forward to seeing you next week- and remember! The first 25 people to snatch up Shift will get the accompanying workbook – Engagement Cure: How to End Apathy Today. 15 questions that will revitalize your team and revolutionize your business- at no extra cost – don’t miss out… order yours today!