We all accept constructive criticism differently and receiving feedback doesn’t come naturally for most people. Our default reaction is to block feedback. We get defensive and deny the possibility that we could be wrong, flawed, or must improve.

Depending on its delivery and our attitude, we are capable of accepting feedback gracefully. But what about the times that feedback leaves us enraged, agitated, or demotivated? This kind of feedback gets us our feet with our hearts racing, our fists clenched, and tears welling up in our eyes.

The reactions may differ, but they all leave us out-of-sync and troubled. What’s happened?  

As a leader, it’s challenging enough to give feedback. While some feedback can be rewarding, there is feedback that leaves people feeling offended and exposed. Despite the negative reaction, the feedback is acknowledged and accepted nonetheless.

But did you know that three triggers can block your feedback from being received at all? Here are 3 triggers that can cause your feedback to be blocked by the recipient.

1. Identity


There’s truth to the saying that we’re all built differently. Not everyone is wired the same. So while one person may have strength of character and take feedback with their chin up and a mature disposition, there are people who come undone.

This trigger has to do with the person’s ability to accept feedback. Feedback, whether right or wrong, causes the person to unravel. It leaves them feeling ashamed and at odds with who they are.

2. Truth


The truth isn’t always easy to swallow, especially if it is based on someone else’s observation and you are unwilling to accept there may be some accuracy behind it.

It doesn’t matter how true your statement about the person you are giving the feedback to is, if they feel that it is utterly false and off-base, there’s no way you will convince them otherwise. They will feel offended and unwilling to accept any of your following statements.

3. Relationship


Of all the triggers, this is perhaps the trickiest. The feedback is blocked not because its validity is in question or the person receiving it lacks the mental strength to accept it, but because the relationship between the person giving the feedback and the recipient is tainted.

If you are the last person that the individual wants to be hearing feedback from, then they will ignore you and detach themselves from the session. There’s likely some history behind this. Maybe you have not earned their respect, or you’ve had an altercation with the individual in the past, causing them to judge your authority. Whatever the situation, feedback dished out by someone they don’t trust or disrespect will likely be snubbed.

Fortunately, there are ways around these triggers. And if a triggered reaction has already caused feedback to be blocked, there’s still a chance to rectify the situation by scheduling a second feedback session. And this time, you will approach it prepared.

If you feel that you need more guidance on how to avoid the discussed feedback triggers, I believe I can help you build on your leadership strengths. If you’d like to learn more about how I have helped people transform their leadership skills through coaching techniques and highly-personalized programs, connect with me: http://meetme.so/GregNichvalodoff

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