Receiving feedback is threatening. Getting negative feedback is really difficult. It just always is. Understanding why it’s difficult makes it a bit easier, and understanding the specific triggers associated with it is helpful, but it is still normally difficult.
In part receiving feedback is difficult because whenever your accept feedback, part of you is saying “you’re right and I’m wrong”, and that upsets your relationship balance and sense of pride in who you are.
Overall we think that practicing receiving feedback is very important and that the three triggers identified by Sheila Heen are a very helpful framework through which to do so. We also believe that learning how to receive feedback well helps people learn how to deliver it well.
As with most frameworks of this nature, it’s important to remain mindful and aware of your thoughts and emotions when you’re in feedback conversations. Remaining aware of, and understanding, what you’re thinking and feeling will help ensure you manage the conversations well. Receiving feedback is always threatening, but we can get better at it.