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How do you respond to feedback?

Feedback is one of our Learning Blocks - how we respond to it determines the progress we make. Do you respond to feedback with more of a fixed or growth mindset? Let's find out what they mean.....


What does it look, sounds and feel like to have a fixed mindset thought towards feedback?

Well, as you know this is my trigger, although I'm really working on it!


Back when I was teaching this was really difficult for me. Teachers get feedback ALL THE TIME! From colleagues, the headteacher, the children, parents and of course OSFTED!


Funnily enough Ofsted never really bothered me as much as the others, I guess it's because they see you more often, know you more personally.


And feedback can come with positive and negative intention. Although the majority of mine was with positive intention, I never saw it this way.


Any feedback with a fixed thought is taken personally. It feels like someone is criticising you as a person, telling you that you aren't good enough or perfect.


It feels heavy and can really cut deep, that disappointment and guilt can be overwhelming that you have not lived up to someone's expectations and have let them down in some way, but also letting yourself down.


For me, I'd quite often dwell on the feedback for days, worrying, not sleeping, sometimes getting a bit teary too. The wine and chocolate were always a great comfort at this time.


At other times, I'd snap, bite back trying to protect myself from the words I believed to either be unjust, hurtful or untrue.


What does a growth mindset thought look, sound and feel like towards feedback?

I'm really proud of the way I've changed my thinking towards feedback since starting our journey back in 2016. Don't get me wrong, sometimes it's still tough, but I've learned to manage it differently than before.


Feedback is information not fact, we are not becoming someone else's vision, but analysing and reflecting on the information that we are given. I remind myself that this is someone's opinion and has a positive intention to help me develop and improve.


I listen carefully and clarify what is being said to ensure I fully understand the messages I'm being given and then I thank them!


I go away and spend some time thinking, "Is this right for me? Do I need to act now or can I act later? Is this something that actually I don't agree on and here are the reasons why."


Sometimes I think, sometime I write, but whatever I choose I find this really powerful and it helps me makes sense, rationalise and find logic in the information I have been given.


I now know that once I go through this process I can move on and don't dwell on it or feel bad - I see opportunity and a chance to grow!


I've had some feedback that I am so grateful people have pointed out to me, it's helped me enormously and I've also had feedback that was not right for me, not authentic to who I am and so I've said, "Thanks, but no thanks." and explained why.


Don't get me wrong, I have times when this DOESN'T happen and I revert back to my fixed habit. I'm only human!


What does Elon Musk think about feedback?

Love him or loathe him, we totally agree with Elon Musk's philosophy here.

Developing our mindset reveals how valuable feedback from others can be. We are after all a tribal, social species that thrives on being with others and learning from others is one of the best ways to grow and develop.


Feedback can be hard to take, it can be painful, it can also not be right for you or it can be true, but if given with good intention (to support and guide) then it's usually worth considering.


Top Tips for receiving feedback


  • Take time to reflect and evaluate any feedback you get.

  • Have the courage to say 'Thank you, I appreciate you telling me this.' no matter how it's delivered.

  • Go away and spend some time deciding how you can use this feedback to develop and grow and if you can't, go back and tell them why.


If you love a good read, why don't you check out our other blogs about mindsets.


If you would like to know more about Grow Your Mindset click here.


Much Love


Gemma x

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