Does Your Response to Feedback Help or Hurt You?

Beatriz Rodriguez, the Chief Diversity Officer at the Home Depot, says that the ability to accept feedback in a calm, gracious, and accepting way is essential if you are going to get ahead professionally.

She goes on to say that women can be particularly sensitive when it comes to receiving feedback. She suggests that women should not only say “Thank you” when someone takes the time to volunteer feedback, but that everyone should actively seek it.  Ask for notes after a meeting or completion of a project.  You will be surprised how much great advice and guidance you can receive if you just ask.

The best thing you can do is say “Thank you” and then proceed to discuss what you can do differently.  Not everyone who delivers feedback is skilled when it comes to the tone of the message, and as a result, we often get defensive. The key here is to see feedback as a gift. This may take practice as our natural inclination is to justify our actions. But remember, the giver of the feedback usually just wants to be acknowledged, and to know that you are taking the necessary action to rectify or avoid repeating the outcome.   

Also, next time you are on the receiving end of constructive criticism or what I prefer to call “re-directive” feedback, press pause before you respond. Enjoy my conversation with Beatriz below.