Using Feedback to Propel You
Hey, tribe! How are you on this beautiful Friday? I started today thinking how crazy it is that we’re already two weeks into March...and then I realized it’s June. June! Are you kidding me?! Where did this year go?
I'm so excited about this episode. Today we’re tackling a tough-ish topic: feedback. This podcast is dedicated to growth and positive change, and feedback is a great way to grow — even if it can sometimes be hard to hear. But, with the right approach, we can use feedback to fuel creativity and action!
Before we dive in, I want to ask you a question. When was the last time someone gave you real, meaningful feedback? Not just like, “Oh hey, you did a really great job, Jenn!” When I say feedback, I mean “Your program is great, and here are the reasons why. And here’s where I think you could have done a little bit better.”
We often think of that kind of detailed feedback as limited to a formal setting, like an employee review or performance evaluation. But feedback can come at you from all angles. Maybe somebody has commented on one of your Instagram posts saying something negative. Especially right now, leaders are learning that maybe something you said in the past was wrong or hurtful — and someone slid into your DMs and called you out.
I've gotten a lot of feedback over the past couple of weeks based on things that I've posted on the internet. I've posted things that I'm learning about and things that I’m experiencing. Sometimes I post my opinion or some knowledge that I’ve learned over my journey. You guys know I put it all out there! I've gotten some pretty nasty feedback because of it.
I got the gift of my father’s quick temper — thanks Dad! (Just kidding — none of my family listens to these episodes). My dad became sober almost eleven years ago, but before that, he was pretty hot-headed. He had a really short fuse — that’s something I inherited. So, when I hear negative feedback online, my initial reaction was to get defensive, mad, and angry.
Today on Episode 91 on The Jenn Kennedy Show, we’re going to talk about how the process I’ve learned to react more positively to feedback. As you listen, reflect on how you respond to feedback now. Don’t judge yourself! It’s a natural response to feel hurt and angry. But as an entrepreneur and as a human, we can all change the way we receive feedback and take value from other people’s advice. Here’s what I learned about processing feedback in a better way. Let’s go!
Processing Feedback Starts with the Heart
This whole process is designed to either disagree peacefully and respectfully or to shift our mindset based on the conversation that develops from an Instagram comment or some other message. You guys won’t be surprised that my first step in processing feedback is very heart-centered.
When you first hear a piece of feedback, my advice is that you approach it with an open heart. Approach the message with caring, empathy, and understanding — love. Don’t get upset. Don’t freak out, don’t cry. When you get feedback, use it as an opportunity to grow. You have to first act with your heart and genuinely care about the conversation that is about to be had. If you quickly react with your brain and remove your emotions, it won’t be as powerful as the conversation should be.
A lot of us need help with this, guys. This takes practice, so don’t get discouraged!
Where the Heart Leads, the Brain Follows
The second part of the process is your mind — your brain. This is when you can get logical and start to understand someone else’s perspective. Once you’ve opened your heart and you have empathy, then you want to understand someone else's perspective.
You have to come at this with an objective point of view. You have to say, “Okay, wait, let me remove my emotions. I have empathy and I want to understand where you are. I want to understand what it is that you are trying to say.” Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. We have to do this with both our hearts and minds, and only then can we create a positive dialogue. You can start to hear what the other person is saying without your own bias — without that shame and doubt and insecurity that we all have. Those are blockers that prevent growth!
During this step, it’s all about seeing someone else’s perspective and understanding their point of view. Once you can see things from a new perspective, you can start to take action.
Taking Action Comes Last
Ok guys, I get it — sometimes the internet is just full of trolls. There are people out there who are just going to give you nasty feedback because they are miserable people and they want to make you feel bad. Or, they’re giving feedback from an impulsive state, and they don’t see you as a real person with feelings. That can happen too. Either way, it’s up to you to open your heart and mind to see if the person giving you feedback genuinely cares and wants to have a conversation before deciding they’re just an asshole.
Whether a person is well-intentioned or not, you have two options for how you want to take and address the feedback.
Number one, you can completely detach yourself. You can say to yourself “Well, this person is being kind of an asshole” and detach your emotions, time, and energy. If someone is sliding into your DMs to tell you that you’re a horrible person and your business sucks, you might not really learn anything from them. Don’t bring that energy into your life. It’s not constructive. Just cut ties with that feedback — don’t think about it, don’t talk about it — it’s done.
But, if the feedback does serve you and you did learn something about it, take action! Change the way in which you move forward. Start by showing gratitude for that person’s time and perspective. Thank that person, and move forward with that new information. That's amazing because that person just gave you feedback that helped you completely transform your life. And if it was that amazing, you can go give feedback to other people. How powerful is that?!
We can't just live our lives with blinders on. We're never going to grow without feedback. Start to see feedback as an opportunity to see a new perspective. We cannot get upset. We cannot attach an emotion like anger to it. By initiating a positive dialogue with someone, we get to hear another point of view. We get to ask questions, and we get to learn from people. The best part? We get to do it all with love with respect and light. And that right there is how you grow, evolve, and transform.
Directly Ask for Feedback
If you really want to propel your growth, think about how you can be proactive about getting feedback. As an entrepreneur, using your head and your heart together is how you grow: and if you want to grow quicker, and really take your business to the next level, ask people for their opinion. Send out surveys, ask your business coach, ask your mentor, or talk to people in your business program. Feedback is not a bad thing — on the contrary, it’s so valuable and such a great way to grow.
Get the perspective of someone outside of your head, outside of your life, and outside of your business. They may be able to show you how you can do better right now. Feedback can change our lives, our financial future, our leadership. What’s important is that you learn how to process your feedback in a way that’s going to serve you and help you move forward.
I hope that this episode opens your eyes to a new way of thinking! Talking about this stuff is hard, but I promise it will completely transform your mind and business. If this episode really touched you, please send me a screenshot of this episode and tag me @thejennkennedy! I love getting your screenshots and knowing we’re one big tribe learning together. I love having a conversation with you. I love saying thank you. I love connecting with you on social media. It's just one of my favorite things to do! I absolutely LOVE connecting with my tribe!
Give me a tag @thejennkennedy and let me know what was your biggest takeaway! I will chat with you guys on Monday! Thanks for listening, and see you next week!