Thanks for the Feedback!

Three Triggers That Block Feedback

Truth Triggers

Relationship Triggers

Identity Triggers

Set off by the substance of the feedback itself -- it’s somehow off, unhelpful, or simply untrue.

In response we feel indignant, wronged, and exasperated.

Tripped by the particular person who is giving us the feedback.

Colored by the relationship between giver and receiver, we react based on beliefs about the giver (they’ve got no credibility on this topic!) or how we feel treated by the giver (after all I’ve done for you, I get this kind of petty criticism?)

This is all about us.

Whether the feedback is right/wrong or wise/witless, it has caused our identity (our sense of who we are) to come undone.

We feel overwhelmed, threatened, ashamed, or off balance. In this state, the past can look damning and the future bleak.

Our triggers are reasonable, but they are also obstacles because they keep us from engaging skillfully in the conversation. Receiving feedback well is a process of sorting and filtering -- of learning how the other person sees things; of trying on ideas that at first seem a poor fit; of experimenting. And of shelving or discarding parts of the feedback that in the end seem off or not what you need right now.

Three Types of Feedback

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