Artwork for podcast Emotionally Fit
How to Receive Negative Feedback with Dr. Emily Anhalt
Episode 2925th August 2022 • Emotionally Fit • Coa x Dr. Emily Anhalt
00:00:00 00:06:29

Share Episode

Shownotes

In this Emotional Push-Up, Dr. Emily is going solo and walks us through a five-step process for taking in critical feedback thoughtfully and productively.  

Thank you for listening! Staying emotionally fit takes work and repetition. That's why the Emotionally Fit podcast with psychologist Dr. Emily Anhalt delivers short, actionable Emotional Push-Ups every Monday and Thursday to help you build a better practice of mental health. Join us to kickstart your emotional fitness. Let's flex those feels and do some reps together!

Follow Dr. Emily on Twitter, and don’t forget to follow, rate, review and share the show wherever you listen to podcasts! #EmotionallyFit 

The Emotionally Fit podcast is produced by Coa, your gym for mental health. Katie Sunku Wood is the show’s producer from StudioPod Media with additional editing and sound design by nodalab, and featuring music by Milano. Special thanks to the entire Coa crew!

Transcripts

Dr. Emily (:

Ready to break an emotional sweat? Welcome to Emotionally Fit with me, Dr. Emily Anhalt. As a therapist, I know that staying mentally healthy takes work and repetition. That's why I'll share emotional pushups, short actionable exercises to help you strengthen your mental fitness. From improving your friendships to managing stress, let's flex those feels and do some reps together.

Dr. Emily (:

Hey, there Fit fans. I am here today with me, myself, and I. We are mixing it up a bit today and I'm going to be walking myself through a push up that's all about how to receive negative feedback in an emotionally fit way. Now, hearing tough feedback is difficult for everyone. No one wants to hear that they've messed up or that they've let other people down. But the way that we respond to this feedback is going to inform what people share with us in the future. So today I'm going share a five step process for taking a negative feedback thoughtfully. And I thought that I would share a piece of negative feedback that I received recently and walk you through how I used these five steps. So the feedback that I received recently was from someone very important in my life. They had not come through with an agreement that we had made, and in sharing my feelings about that, I said something like, it's really frustrating to me that you do this all the time.

Dr. Emily (:

They paused me right there and said, you know Emily, I know I dropped the ball here, but I don't appreciate you saying that I do this all the time. It doesn't happen all the time, and by saying that you're disregarding everything that I've done to grow in this area and all the times that I do get it right. So this is the example I'm going to use while I walk you through these five steps for taking in tough feedback. So let's do this. Step one in this process is to practice giving yourself space between hearing the feedback and responding. Because when we respond right away, it tends to be from a defensive place. I know when I heard this feedback, my first instinct was to say, nah-ah, you're wrong. You do do this all the time, which they don't. And I do acknowledge your growth, which I hadn't.

Dr. Emily (:

And this came from wanting to see myself as a good person, as a good boss, as a good friend. So when you get tough feedback, give yourself 10 minutes before saying anything. In my case, I slowed myself down and I said, I'd actually like a few minutes to think about that. Can we sink again in 10 minutes and talk about it? All right. So now you've given yourself the space. Step two then is to spend that 10 minutes taking stock of what you're feeling. I know you might want to spend that time thinking about what is right or wrong about what they've said or how you're going to fix it. But instead, focus first on what you're actually feeling. Do you feel defensive? Do you feel misunderstood? Is this something you've been working on in other areas of your life? In my case, I realized that I had received a similar piece of feedback in a different area of my life not that long ago, and realizing this helped me really acknowledge that I should probably look at this more.

Dr. Emily (:

The feelings that came up for me were a little bit of shame. Like I should be better than this. I should do this differently. I should be perceived differently. And so during this time I recommend taking a few thoughtful breaths to center yourself and to remember that this feedback is about one facet of you, not all of who you are. So that helped me contextualize my feelings a bit. So step three assumes that you've come back together with the feedback giver. And so your task now is to thank them for sharing this with you. It is a gift to be trusted with tough feedback, and it's very vulnerable to give it. So do not use this time to share any feedback of your own even if you think they're guilty of the same behavior, this is something we do when we don't want to face our own feelings or our own shame about what we've been told.

Dr. Emily (:

So you can just say thank you so much for sharing that with me. Step four then is to get curious, ask questions to understand where the feedback is coming from and what effect your choice or behavior has had on other people. So in this instance, I ask questions like, can you tell me more about that? What was that like for you? How could I do this differently next time? Not only does asking questions signal that you're taking what they've shared seriously, but you're also likely to learn more, which is going to help you integrate the feedback and grow from it. Finally, step five is to thank them again for trusting you with their feedback even if you don't agree with it and let them know that you'll think more about it. You don't have to do anything about it immediately. You don't have to apologize profusely before you've had a chance to think about it.

Dr. Emily (:

The whole goal here is to acknowledge and to commit to exploring what they've shared. From here, really reflect on what they've said. To prioritize growth, we have to build a muscle for handling and integrating criticism. So that's it. Step one, give yourself some space. Step two, check in with what you're feeling. Step three, thank the feedback giver. Step four, get curious and ask questions. Step five, thank them again and assure them that you will think about it. And then of course, after that, do think about it. Otherwise, it was all for nothing. Thank you all so much for tuning in for flexing your feels and breaking an emotional sweat. If you do get any critical feedback in the next week or so, and this has come in handy, reach out, let me know. Use the hashtag Emotionally Fit on Twitter or Instagram. I would love to hear how this lands. Thanks all, and we will see you soon.

Dr. Emily (:

Thanks for listening to Emotionally Fit, hosted by me, Dr. Emily Anhalt. Please rate, review, follow, and share the show wherever you listen to podcasts. This podcast is produced by Coa, your gym for mental health, where you can take live, therapist-led classes online. From group sessions to therapist matchmaking, Coa will help you build your emotional fitness routine. Head to joincoa.com. That's join-c-o-a.com to learn more. And follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @joincoa. From StudioPod Media in San Francisco, our producer is Katie Sunku Wood. Music is by Milano. Special thanks to the entire Coa crew!

Links

Chapters