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  • James McPartland

Access Point: Navigating Feedback

"We take things personally because it IS personal."

— James McPartland

We take feedback personally because, as a person, how else are we to take it? When someone giving us feedback says, "it's just business", we instinctively know that’s not the case because our work identities are intertwined with ourselves – as a whole human being. We feel vulnerable, almost as if we’re being viewed through a two-way mirror. When we receive feedback that we’re not expecting or may be embarrassing for us, our ego and our fears can prevent us from hearing it in a way that serves us.

In light of this reality, here are a few steps we can take to help us navigate the feedback experience:

  • Look at it through the lens of the person providing the information.

  • Ask for clarification and an example to illustrate their point.

  • Repeat what you hear so each of you are on the same page.

  • If you get triggered, own it.

  • Take responsibility by asking yourself, "what can I learn from this?"

  • Seek to understand the end game or goal of the individual who’s taking the time to give you their input.

  • Then on the flip side, recognize what occurs for others when you provide feedback.

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