Get clarity and keep perspective.

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Brian Kight

Let’s get this on the table again right away: when you receive feedback about yourself, it’s personal. Period. Because if the feedback isn’t personal to you, why are they telling you?

If you’re uncertain and you’d like clarity from the person giving feedback, try asking this question: Is this feedback about me specifically or are you sharing general observations that may not apply to me? Their answer makes them responsible for what they share. It makes you responsible for what you do with it.

What most people mean when they say, “Don’t take it personally” is, “Don’t get so upset that you blow up or shut down and miss the message I’m trying to share.” They want you to understand the feedback in perspective. They don’t want you to misinterpret or attach unintended meaning to it. That’s what they’re really asking, which is a fair request, even when they don’t phrase it that way.

It’s ok if feedback upsets you. From time to time it will for various reasons. Personal feedback doesn’t define you, but it might upset you. It’s personal after all. Let it be. But listen intently, keep perspective, and don’t make it more or less than it is.

Discipline is the shortcut. Do the work.

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