Accepting feedback [2]

Feedback is essential for developing sustainable relationships, be it ecological or interpersonal.

Accepting feedback can sometimes be challenging. It takes time, mindfulness, and sometimes patience and compassion. Listening for the underlying needs and feelings makes it easier to hear feedback.

For example, someone says, “You always interrupt me when I’m speaking!” 

This person does not like to be spoken over and would like for you to be mindful of these communication patterns. This person may be feeling frustrated, annoyed, or disappointed. This person may be in touch with their needs of consideration, respect, understanding, contribution, or to be heard.

To facilitate this connection, you might empathize with this person. One way to express that you’re present with and understand where this person is coming from is by paraphrasing the above translation as an “empathy guess.”  

“When you’re speaking and then I speak before you stop speaking, I’m wondering if you feel frustrated because you want to be heard and you’re in touch with your needs of respect and consideration?” 

This strategy enables accepting feedback, as well as deepening understanding and connection in this relationship.