Dealing with feedback and criticism: Attack on the personality

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Text comes from: Überzeugend leise!: Wie stille Menschen ihre Stärken wirkungsvoll nutzen (2014)Feedback: Nur was erreicht, kann auch bewegen (2015) from Chris Wolf, Heinz Jiranek, published by BusinessVillage Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Criticism is so important: "You have to Feedback reverentially, at least it must look like that. So just shut up and look taken. "Or what about the ideal, constructive way to handle feedback?


Here writes for you:


Chris Wolf Chris-WolfChris Wolf Graduate in psychology and book author.


From the author:




Here writes for you:


Heinz Jiranek Heinz-JiranekHeinz Jiranek, psychologist and coach.


Humble and grateful?

Awesome to accept and look taken - so you can summarize the common idea of ​​the proper handling of feedback. This is also how you learn it in a seminar - that's what the vaunted feedback rules want. You have to be humbly grateful and say nothing!

This is all the more true the larger the hierarchical distance to the feedback provider. If the boss gives a feedback, then you should be better still and grateful nod. Only - is this a useful attitude? And if no, is there another, better way?

Feedback and Hierachie

It exists, but it requires some effort. We claim that accepting feedback is central not only to communication but to the functioning of Company is. Thus, it must be counted among the core competences for managers and employees.

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Our approach of resonance feedback looks at the process of transmitting feedback and also provides pragmatic approaches to accepting feedback. However, they do not match a high-gloss item with a low-number of simple rules.

This is primarily about feedback in hierarchical contexts, in which different dominance relationships play a role and provide the feedback with the appropriate impact that always arises when addressing from top to bottom. However, the considerations are analogously applicable to all areas of the feedback “life”.

Three perspectives: “You know who it comes from!”

Basically, there are three different perspectives from which one can look at a feedback:

  1. What does the feedback say about yourself, the feedback recipient? What is going on in him / her? (eg "Oh no, I knew that he, the feedback provider, realizes that I really can't do all of this! I'm the wrong person for the job!")
  2. What does it say about the feedback provider? (eg "Well, if he says that ... you know who it comes from!" or: "Aha, now I know what is important to him.")
  3. And what is the content of the feedback?

Ultimately, the consideration of all aspects is useful, whereby the content can only be used if the two other perspectives are adequately considered.

What is resonance feedback?

However, this is only possible if one is also aware of the other two focuses and sorts his perceptions and makes decisions here. Work is actually required here: thinking and emotion work. Incidentally, this applies to feedback with positive content as well as feedback with negative content.

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We called our approach “resonance feedback”. Because successful feedback processes are based on great attention to everything that resonates. Because in many cases the first reaction to feedback is defense and insult. However, it is important to find the potential hurt that is inherent in any feedback.

Attack on the personality

By that we mean the painful look or “attack” on the most holy of the personality, on what defines us. If feedback does not correspond to our self-image, then reflection work starts. Our self-image is very often "threatened!" perceived, protected and defensively defended.

I imagine this - in analogy to the immune system - in such a way that the foreign body “insult” and sometimes “feedback” must be removed! What comes from outside shouldn't be true, otherwise I wouldn't be me, but a mosaic of foreign definitions.

Simply devalue the feedback?

That is why I am pissed and hoped that the acid can decompose the foreign, the coming from the outside, as something that does not belong to me. This can be achieved, for example, by not looking at the content, but simply devaluing the feedback.

In order to preserve one's own identity, we justify ourselves, that is, we make the right ourselves, and thus we legitimize our actions. Thus we protect our ego, the foundation of the personality.

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Contradiction reflex and argument

In short, to be hurt and to feel resistance when something does not suit me (= something does not suit me = it represents a foreign body), that is a normal and completely healthy psychic process. Because the insult protects by pointing the cause outward - to the cause of the insult.

We then say to ourselves: “He's making a huge mistake!”, “His feedback completely misses the reality!”, “You should first come to your own front door!”, “What she says is going to me not fair at all. Others see it quite differently! ”,“ I don't have to listen to that any longer! ”

No direct resistance!

Admittedly, we exaggerate, and it will not always be so. But it would be strange if that was not the case, and we ourselves would be able to ward off critical feedback, secretly and internally. This tendency to contradiction, to resistance, to defense is almost reflexive, and thus too often unreflected.

Only when one attentively becomes aware of this internal resonance, one is able to resist the urge to contradict oneself.

Listen, if it hurts

Only when you acknowledge as a feedback recipient that you do not have to be well with feedback until you understand that the so-called constructive feedback is usually constructive for the one who exists, but not necessarily for the one who gets it then you can listen, though it may hurt.

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As a feedback, one should be concerned and one can also speak, if one receives a feedback. Only the direct resistance, which we consider to be non-objective.

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  1. Terese Bontempo

    Something does not work with the commentary, I had to start several times over.

  2. Emma Erhart

    Very nice site.

  3. Marissa

    Thanks for the good presentation. It was indeed a pleasure to read that.

  4. Thomas

    There is a much better kind of "criticism": positive feedback. With simple profane criticism you only achieve one thing: injury, rejection and distancing. Because nobody / nobody likes to get a simple rough criticism thrown at the head. Nobody! Therefore, the one who has to criticize something has to work hard, not the one who receives it. "Use the so-called" sandwich technique ", that is, positive start, negative aspect in the middle of the feedback and finally something positive." That's how it works!

    This is how it works:

    • Simone Janson

      Thanks for your great advice.

  5. Anne M. Schüller

    RT @SimoneJanson: Handling feedback - 1/3: Swallow or use? - - Exciting contributionzyE4gJEBB6

  6. Competencepartner

    Dealing with Feedback - 1/3: Swallow or Use ?: ”You have to respect feedback to ... - Exciting contributionQClqDAESij #Professional # Education

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