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Wow! Does this express how you feel about feedback?

Feedback experiences are not all the same. Preparing yourself and even asking for feedback in a difficult conversation is important.

We all come to the conversation with our perspectives and our gaps in understanding and with a lack of all the information. A difficult conversation is more than managing what we know and what we are told. The biggest piece is leading ourselves and then handling the information we hear. I truly wishe I was an expert in this and yet I find myself having to choose how I will handle each situation, how it stirs my emotions and how I will interact with the information and the person in front of me.

It often involves:

  • taking a deep breath

  • recognizing who I am and who the person in front of me is

  • noticing the strength of my emotions

  • reviewing my clarity on the real issue

  • shaking out my raised shoulders, clenched fists, tight stomach muscles

  • shoulders back and soft eyes

  • enter the conversation

In the midst of the conversation it means being aware of:

  • when I need to buy time - that is when to hit pause because this is new, I need to think, this hit a hot button, I need to think. Or you recognize your attitude is going offside and will not serve you well. A simple comment like - this is new to me, I need time to think or wow! I don't know what to say, I need time to think or?

  • when I need to breathe, slow down and acknowledge what is happening in the conversation that is beyond words.

  • when it its time for me to be silent and let silence do it's work.

  • that the conversation is the relationship.


  • learning to graciously and authentically asking for the other persons thoughts and perspectives.

  • acknowledging what you have heard and seeking together to come to a common purpose.

  • defining what you are agreeing on together and what you will do with the rest.

  • affirming the relationship with a simple statement of gratitude or appreciation.

I would love to hear other thoughts you have and stories of how you have navigated difficult conversations.

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