My Teammate Had a Hard Reaction to Feedback: Micro-learning 

Make feedback a winning habit on your team.
Throughout our careers we will run into situations where people have a hard reaction to feedback. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the feedback was bad or wrong. But it does mean that you need to know what to do next. How you handle that moment will determine the impact of the feedback.

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Examples of a hard reaction to feedback

When a teammate has a hard reaction to feedback it can come in many forms. And we’ll likely run into different versions of these reactions throughout our careers. Some common examples include – 

  • Anger
  • Defensiveness 
  • Crying 
  • Silence or shutting down

These are all usually signs that the person needs time, space and or context in order to process the feedback. 

Check your work

The first place to start if someone has a hard reaction is to check your own work to ensure you did the best you could to set the person up for success in this situation. 

  • Is the feedback you gave high quality – meaning it is specific and impact driven? 
  • Is the feedback directly tied to the success of the individual, team or organization?
  • Did you find the right environment and space to give the feedback? 

What to do in the moment

It can be difficult to react appropriately and productively to a hard reaction to feedback. There are a few critical things to remember to do in the moment. 

  • Be human. Don’t power through pretending you don’t notice their reaction. 
  • Pause. There is no rule saying you have to get through the feedback in one sitting. Offer to finish the discussion at a later time. 
  • Ask what they need. Do they need more time, space or context to better process the feedback?
  • Follow up. If you did pause the conversation, be sure to go back and finish the conversation, ensuring they understood the feedback

Micro-learning video

How Tandem can help

Looking to support your team with feedback in their day to day? Tandem is there with your team in their workflow to support feedback best practices. Get started here!