Someone wants to share difficult feedback with you. You don’t want to hear it. What do you do?
If you are not in the right space to receive feedback, turn it down. Period. There are 3 ways to turn it down:
1. Not now, I need time or space.
2. I'm happy to listen to you now, but I may not take the advice.
3. Not ever. Our relationship depends on your ability to keep these judgements to yourself.
How might this come up at work?
1: If your boss wants to explain how you just blew that meeting but you are still upset; “I would love to get your perspective on this, but I'm pretty upset. Can we find time later today?”
2: If a coworker that you don't respect wants to share feedback; “Hey- I'm happy to listen to what you have to say. I just can't promise I will take the advice.”
3: If someone at work is trying to tell you how unhealthy your smoking habit is; “Look- I know smoking cigarettes is bad for me, but I won't feel comfortable having lunch with you if you continue to bring this up.”
Note: If your boss is giving you feedback about performance at work, then 2 and 3 are not appropriate strategies. And 1 is not appropriate in a 1:1 or performance review.
So, the next time someone gives you feedback and you are not in a position to hear it, what will you do?
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