Our reader poll today asks: How do you react when you receive unsolicited and unexpected negative feedback?
- I ignore it. I didn’t ask for it in the first place. 2.3%
- I get defensive. I explain why the feedback is invalid. 8.7%
- I sit with it for a while. I have to stew on it before responding or acting. 77.7%
- I embrace it. I love all kinds of feedback whenever it’s provided. 11.3%
Feedback is a gift that must be considered. When receiving unsolicited negative feedback, the overwhelming majority of you try to pause and sit with it before reacting. That’s a wise approach. It gives you time to get out of instinctive and emotional reactive mode. Many times we’ll feel attached when we receive such feedback and it triggers fight or flight mechanisms. By pausing, you get out of the reptilian brain reactions and instead can consider the feedback in a more measured way. That gives you the benefit of being able to parse which portions of the feedback are fair and valid and which ones you’ll choose not to accept. No one likes being surprised with negative feedback. One implication of all this for you as leaders is to be sure you don’t put team members or other colleagues in this fight or flight moment and, when you do provide constructive feedback, give them the courtesy of time to sit back and reflect on it as well.
Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below!
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These results were originally a SmartPulse poll in SmartBrief on Leadership which tracks feedback from more than 240,000 business leaders. Get smarter on leadership and sign up for the SmartBrief on Leadership e-newsletter.