There are times when being rational can be extremely helpful and essential.
- Cuts across you
- Ignores you
- Forgets you
- Critiques you unfairly
Oddly enough, if you have experienced any of these examples, you are likely to have been, or are, upset and fuming. You probably want to leave your team, job, or the organisation.
There are some clues here – if you have a strong reaction and feel hurt, dismayed, upset and/or betrayed, then you are likely to be taking the message personally.
What to do – there are some options.
First, take some time to think and reflect. Consider one or two of these six questions:
- What has been my experience of the situation/relationship?
- How did I think I was doing?
- If I were to accept 5% of this was true, how might I approach this situation afresh?
- If I were to be curious, what would I want to discover?
- What might I learn from this?
- If I were to be objective and rational, how might I proceed?
When intense feelings have been triggered, one guess you can make is that you are experiencing yourself “coping” and being reactive, rather than you being responsive and engaged. Your values may have been cut across and your sense of yourself dented.
However, while this “feels” personal, is it?
Secondly, If you don’t take the feedback or situation personally, you might ask:
- What has generated this response?
- What does it remind me of?
- How might I turn this current situation around?
What was happening?
Grant took this feedback personally and of course, some of it is personal. It definitely “feels” personal. The particular feedback focused on his relationship with his key stakeholder. By responding with feelings, Grant’s ability to be curious falls away.
If you tend to take feedback personally, here are some questions to consider:
- If you were not to take comments or criticisms personally, how might you improve your relationships and your capacity for results?
- What areas would you increase your capacities to respond?
- When colleagues shut you out, who might you have a consult with to generate some options for proceeding?
- Reach out. Who are your confidants, sounding boards and problem solving colleagues?