Have you ever received feedback and wondered, “Where on earth did that come from?”

It seems so not like you, hard to believe, downright wrong.  Of course, sometimes, feedback is based on misperception.  And, at other times, it may be a precious gift you don’t want to accept.

Feedback that sounds foreign – unlike anything you’ve heard before – may be exactly what you need to hear now. Whether you like the messenger, count them as friend or enemy, breathe deeply, listen closely, say, “Thank you for sharing.  I have to think this over.”

The person may be telling you something no one else has been willing to say.  Take it in.  Coach yourself to consider what you’ve heard without reacting defensively.  Even though the information seems off target, be curious.  Ask yourself, “In what ways might this be true?”  Entertaining the possibility that the input could contain a kernel of truth is an act of courage and can result in important new insights. 

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