B's Blogs May 7, 2019

Feedback got ya frantic?

The practice of giving and receiving feedback is a true art and science.  We rely on science to understand why we react the way we do, and we create art each time we practice receiving & delivering feedback!

Today’s post is all about the art of expressing feedback with your strengths, and how science can help you navigate & work with what ya got!  It starts with the virtues, and expressing the strength that aligns with the virtue (the virtues are: wisdom & knowledge, humanity, justice, courage, transcendence, and temperance).  Curious to know your strengths & virtues?

For many of us (yes I am included in this bucket), It’s super hard to not take feedback personally in the moment.  Your emotions rise to the surface, and your inner Nancy Drew or Columbo start talking to you. You immediately start looking for clues, which lead to blaming, assumptions, more clues, and new assumptions which lead you to a state of clue-lessness!

So why does this happen?  

Blame it on brain yeah eeee yeah!

It all comes down to science: the second your emotions arise, your brain creates stories that protect you from the perceived fear of being attacked.  Your primitive brain is wired to protect you from any and all threats. Yep- feedback is typically perceived as a threat. When you feel your heart beating faster, and your skin is flush- your brain is sending signals to your extremities to run! The prefrontal cortex is blocked, and your amygdala is on overdrive. But wait a hot second- you aren’t in danger. You’re listening to someone give you feedback! You’ve been brain hacked! Your feelings and thoughts are temporary, and seeing this objectively creates space to create a new outcome.  A daily mindfulness practice rewires your brain so you can connect to your calm in these moments.

Strengths in Feedback Arena:

Scenario: You have to give someone tough news, feedback, and are basically not certain how the outcome will be.  In the moment, you are overwhelmed by feelings of uncertainty, and prepare by doing a quick 3 minute meditation.

Fast forward…you delivered the feedback; bravo! (thank you, Bravery Strength). You notice the person (receiver of feedback) shifting to one of the following behaviors: defensive, overly pleasing, withdrawn, or maybe tearful (nice work using your Strength of Social Intelligence and seeing these cues).  Take a conscious moment to create space for the words to be absorbed by the receiver. In other words, be okay with silence.

For the receiver of the feedback, a great way to stay present with it are these three powerful words “tell me more” (welcome in your Strengths of Curiosity & Perspective). The person giving the feedback has an opportunity to review the facts as they know it, and engage you to share. You (as the receiver) can listen to the facts, and decide if the facts are all present. The bigger Strengths you both are practicing are Kindness, Fairness, and Teamwork. You are creating a new possibility versus it’s “this way or else you’re out”.  Also- you’ve created space between your emotions and the present moment.  At the end of the conversation, you create trust & and deeper connection.

We practice and preach meditation using the Headspace app!  Dive in today, and learn how meditation can calm your brain, and boost your life!