Inviting feedback can be hard enough, but receiving it can be even harder. Any sort of criticism (even constructive) tends to bring out all of our insecurities and defensiveness, but truly great leaders resist this impulse and readily accept feedback with grace and an open mind. It can touch on sensitive areas, but it’s important not to take it too personally and to manage your emotions and reactions. Keep your composure, focus on understanding their perspective and work to keep the channel open.
Remember, the person providing the feedback has a difficult job as well. Employees are often hesitant and intimidated by the idea of voicing their thoughts to their bosses, so do your best to make them feel at ease. The easier you make it for them to provide you with feedback, the easier it is for them to receive it in return. Put yourself in their shoes—would you feel comfortable giving yourself constructive criticism? If not, that’s a good sign that you need to improve your communication with your employees.
Next time, we’ll touch on the best ways to offer feedback.
Read here on Communicating Your Feedback with Empathy.