When receiving feedback about our work, attitude, or performance it is so easy to interpret it as an attack against us. Because our work and how we go about doing our work is very personal we take the feedback very personally. But, often times, this creates problems.
One of these problems being, responding to feedback by attacking back.
Not only have I seen this in others, but I have done this myself and nothing good ever comes of it!
I believe we attack back because subconsciously, during feedback conversations, we are thinking to ourselves...
If I'm going down, you're going down with me.
Because in a feedback conversation we are made to feel less than good about ourselves, many times, our knee-jerk reaction is to make the person providing us the feedback feel less than good about themselves.
Whether we are aware of it or not, when someone gives us feedback, we interpret it as them "scoring a point" against us so we feel the need to attack back to "even the score."
Or, we attack back because we have convinced ourselves that we are the "pride police" and it is our job to humble the person giving us the feedback lest they think too highly themselves. By doing this we actually believe we are serving the person by attacking them back! Crazy human beings we are!
Regardless of the reasons why we justify our "attacking back," the problem with doing so is this: we miss out on the truth in the feedback!
We miss out on the insight. We miss out on the perspective. We miss out on the wisdom. We miss out on the growth opportunity. Instead of growing up we expend all of our energy fighting back.
With all of this in mind, here is the commitment I'd like us to make the next time we find ourselves in a feedback conversation. EXCHANGE YOUR BOXING GLOVES FOR A NOTEPAD AND A PEN. Instead of looking at these conversations as fights you must win see them as opportunities to be made aware of lessons you must learn.