I Reacted Poorly to Feedback: Micro-learning 

Make feedback a winning habit on your team.
Reacting to feedback is a key skill to build a healthy feedback culture. Sometimes we respond poorly when receiving feedback. If this happens, what you do next is important to maintain a good feedback relationship. Check out these tips and micro-learning video on how to do it well.

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What poor reactions look like

Reacting to feedback, especially feedback you don’t agree with, can be hard. Poor reactions can take many forms. They often look like – 

  • Clenching the jaw 
  • Rolling eyes 
  • Pushing back with excuses 
  • Silence 
  • Shutting down 
  • Being dismissive 

What to do in the moment

The first thing is to be aware that the poor reaction is happening. Acknowledge it. You can say, “Hey, I’m not responding in the way I would like to. Could we pause?” Next, thank the person. Tell them you value that they are giving you feedback. And last, ask for what you need in order to have a more productive response. It may be that you need more time, space or context. Saying the phrase, “Tell me more” can buy you both time and context. 

How to productively apologize

If this poor reaction happened in the past, use a script like this to productively apologize. 

“I was reflecting on how I showed up when you gave me feedback, and I realized that my poor reaction probably damaged the trust you showed by sharing this with me. That is not at all what I intended, and it’s not ok. What I wish I had said was this: [Insert a more reasoned reaction that conveys your true intent]. I deeply value your perspective and hope that you continue to share feedback with me going forward.”

How to prevent reacting poorly to feedback in the future

After you have a poor reaction to feedback, it is a good idea to check on why you had that reaction to help prevent it in the future. 

  • Reflect on what triggered the reaction 
  • Decide how you want to respond to feedback you don’t agree with in the future 
  • Realize that you have the power in what you do with the feedback. You don’t necessarily have to act on or take on board every piece of feedback. 

Micro-learning video

Reacting to feedback – how Tandem can help

Looking to support your team in reacting to feedback productively? Tandem is there with your team in their workflow to support strong feedback habits. Get started here!