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We’ve all been there. Your boss says: “We need to schedule a meeting later.” Your partner says those dreaded four words: “We need to talk.” And you find yourself preparing to take on feedback, whether that’s steeling yourself and putting up a wall, or thinking of the things you could have possibly done wrong and deciding who to transfer blame to.

We have a better method. There’s a way to use feedback to improve yourself instead of feeling bad about yourself, and we’re discussing the three ways to do that here:

1. Listen to understand. “When someone gives you feedback, really listen to them so that you can understand what the issue is. If they felt strongly enough to bring up the subject, it’s something they think needs changed or improved. Giving negative feedback is usually just as unpleasant for the person giving it as it is for the person receiving it,” Darryl, Host and Co-Creator of Success in Black and White the Podcast, says. “So, make sure you are listening, taking mental notes of what they said, then repeating it to them so you ensure you caught all of their important points,” he says. “If you are pro-status at receiving negative feedback, you know it’s important to thank the person giving you feedback because you recognize it wasn’t easy for them to do so.”

2. Don’t get defensive. “The hardest thing to do when getting negative feedback from someone is to turn off your defense mechanism,” says April Lovett, Host and Co-Creator of Success in Black and White, The Podcast. “Everyone gets defensive when they hear negative things about themselves, even if that feedback is framed in ‘here are ways you can improve’. However, that puts up a wall between yourself and the person giving you feedback,” says April. “Getting defensive will not only make you seem immature but will also hinder any progress towards fixing the issue.”

3. Make plans so you don’t find yourself entrenched in the same issue later. “It’s so important to make sure you have action steps to change by the end of that conversation,” April says. “It’s not the responsibility of the person giving you feedback to also tell you HOW to change, that is up to you. But if that person cares enough to give you the feedback, they’ll probably care enough to make sure you are successful in changing. Solicit their feedback or advice on how you can improve. If you don’t take this step, it is guaranteed that you will run into the same issue again and again.”

Want more of this conversation? Tune in to the episode of the podcast below to hear Darryl & April’s conversation on “How to Take Feedback Like a Champ”

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