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How To Overcome Fear and Resistance to Feedback

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Before sharing how to overcome fear and resistance to feedback, I must admit that I have had fears and resistance to feedback! Especially when I first became an independent facilitator and consultant in 2004. Because I worked with different companies every week, it felt like everyone had an opinion about my work and how I did it.  I received performance feedback every day, and it was unnerving.  

And so, along the way, I've found some tricks and tips that have helped.  I will share four feedback acceptance steps that helped me overcome my resistance and fear and ‘make peace’ with and get the benefit from other's feedback.  I'll what I've learned through the acronym H.E.L.P.

  • H. How Important Feedback Is…

  • E. Examining Why
  • L. Learning Balance
  • P. Pick What You Use

Let's review each Feedback Acceptance Step:

H. How Important Feedback Is…

kellie pickler

I’m a fan of the reality TV show American Idol; I've never missed an episode. I’m always amazed at how fast these talented "kids” turn into confident and competent professionals in their craft.  

What do Kellie Pickler (a past American Idol contestant) and skill development for business professionals have in common?  They have in common: Growth is accelerated when you get a lot of feedback and practice your skills in a focused way.

Accepting feedback is easier when you realize it can help you reach your goals more quickly.  Feedback lets you know what's working well and what could get in your way. 

Here's a few simple examples of helpful feedback: if you're at a party and your friend lets you know you have spinach in your teeth, that's good information to know.  Feedback is EXACTLY what you want when you get distracted in your car and start swerving into the next lane. When the vehicle beside you taps its horn to let you know, you LIKE that feedback because it helps you avoid a wreck. 

We have a love/hate relationship with feedback.

But when you start realizing how HELPFUL feedback is to your success, personally and professionally, it gets a little easier to allow it and to be more open to it.

Recommended Action for This Feedback Acceptance Step:  Review my What is Feedback article. Use the idea that 'feedback is helpful to me' to help yourself begin noticing how much feedback can help you reach your goals and dreams.

Go to Page 2 for Feedback Acceptance Step Two - E. Examining Why

I Share S.A.R.A. with 360 Feedback Participants

SARA Feedback Model

We all have our own natural responses when it comes to receiving feedback.

By analyzing our energy levels and internal narratives, we can tactically work on receiving feedback better.

Let’s use S.A.R.A. to walk through the different phases of receiving feedback.

😲 Shock: In this phase, you might respond with “What?! I don’t understand; this must not be right.”

😠 Anger: In this phase, you might be inclined to say “They’re just venting their frustrations!”

😑 Resistance: In this phase, you may want to say, “That’s just the way I am, take it or leave it.”

👍 Acceptance: In this phase, you’re finally ready to say, “How can I best use this feedback?”

Acceptance is where most of us would like to be, but we’re not always there.

Learning the phases you might experience when receiving feedback may help you move through them faster to get to where you want to be — growing!

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Need 360 Feedback Assistance?  If you are starting or considering a 360 feedback project, consider 20/20 Insight software SYSTEM that makes it possible for you to easily measure the performance of a person, a team, or the entire organization with customized surveys and done-for-you-survey-templates: Survey Software System  

If you would like to discuss your project in a complimentary consulting call or if you think you need survey administration and facilitation assistance, contact Suzie Price.

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