How do you typically feel when someone says, “Hey, can I give you some feedback?” If you immediately tense up, you’re not alone. It can be stressful not knowing what the other person is going to say, whether it’s your boss or a client.

Mary Kelly, Ph.D., a leadership speaker and author, says that sometimes feedback can feel like an attack. As a result, we may get defensive or angry and end up unleashing on the person giving the feedback. This doesn’t help anyone, so how can you get better at graciously accepting feedback? We share some tips from Dr. Kelly in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

See critiques as opportunities. If you view someone’s comments as criticism, you’re more likely to respond emotionally. Instead, Dr. Kelly recommends choosing to see critiques as opportunities to improve. Thoughtfully consider what the other person says and consider how you can use their feedback to grow.

Consider their perspective. It’s easy to react in the moment when you don’t pause and think about where someone else is coming from. For example, if you get a brusque email from your boss, you may not realize he or she has had a day full of issues. Try to objectively see events from their point of view instead of your own, Dr. Kelly says.

Pause. To get better at receiving feedback, try taking a deep breath (or three) before responding. This can help you from getting defensive and saying something you may regret. Dr. Kelly recommends looking at what your critic is saying and seeing what you can learn once you let your initial emotions dissipate.

Stay objective. Reacting to criticism is a habit like any other behavior, Dr. Kelly says, and you have the capacity to change it. Take yourself out of the equation and try to see all sides of the situation. Maybe the other person misunderstood something or perhaps communication got mixed up. Practice processing feedback in a constructive way.

Be kind to yourself. Criticism can be tough to hear, and you may feel hurt by what the other person said. Give yourself time to process the emotions, Dr. Kelly says. However, don’t wallow in self-pity. Let yourself feel disappointed or angry, and then get on it with it. You can even mark it in your calendar that at noon you’ll be done processing the feedback and ready to move forward in a healthy way.

You may not particularly enjoy getting feedback, but don’t close yourself off to it. You may come out of the conversation with some useful insight.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Mary Kelly, Ph,D., CSP, CDR, and U.S. Navy (retired) is a leadership speaker and author who has written 12 leadership and business books.