Smart people love talking about how to give feedback. But not many talk about how to receive it.
No matter how profoundly we might embrace concepts like radical transparency, hearing “Your presentation missed the mark,” or worse, is never a comfortable moment.
As animals wired for self-defense, our knee-jerk reaction is to reject hard feedback. And then we might go through something resembling the five stages of grief. Anger (“He’s crazy, my presentation rocked!”) spirals into denial (“Who is he to speak, his emails are gibberish!”) and then perhaps some bargaining (“Oh god, he’s right; please don’t let me get fired tomorrow”) followed by some wallowing if not actual depression.