105. How to Take Feedback Without Getting Defensive While Becoming More Self-Aware and Conscious - Transcripts

May 18, 2022

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Welcome to flow with Armand Asadi Welcome Welcome, I want to speak today about feedback. I believe that feedback

is one of the most important things that a person can learn to acquire receive and

integrate into their not only into their

lives but into their

entire being,

the ability to properly receive feedback in a workplace setting or in your personal life. Um God, I mean when you look at Carl jung's approach to the

journey of individual ation, the journey


making the unconscious parts of yourself conscious, which is one of my favorite ideas and phrases in the world when you look at that journey and process one of the most important factors, the most important steps along the way is receiving feedback and or at least learning how to recognize feedback when it exists now. Most people, when the opportunity for

feedback shows up, tend


clench up close down

and get defensive and why not feedback at the end of the day is telling you to adjust who you are or what you are. And that can be a very shocking thing to the psyche, to the self, to you. Like for someone to tell you to be different, it just doesn't feel good and it's very difficult to take

feedback for

a lot of people, but in particular sensitive types and um some of the people I care about most in the world are

very sensitive and they often

tend to be women,

not always, I'm actually pretty sensitive myself,


not on the psychological scale, but just as a person if you got to know me. Um but in terms of ability to take feedback, the more

sensitive types, the ones that take things

more personally or defensively because

they they tend to take

those words and

feel them so

deeply and feel as if they have done something wrong uh tend to be those sensitive types and it's very difficult for those people

to take that

feedback and I can understand why because as I

said, it

feels like I didn't

know, I didn't note this very important word,

but it

feels like the person is telling you to be different to change your

personality. But this is the first step in the adjustment. The first step in the adjustment. Let me, let me just begin, let me actually wrap up that point around why feedback is important. So


you go down this journey of individual ation and

this journey of making

the unconscious


and you receive feedback and you begin to integrate that feedback,


do change your behaviors change and as a process your personality


And if you're changing in accordance with what is best for you, what brings out the

best in your potential

and what the world and

society is ultimately

telling you to

adjust, you're gonna

end up being a more successful human being because the more you can go and adjust with the flow of what gets results

in society, you're gonna feel more successful because success is ultimately getting results in society for most

people. So understanding how people feel about your actions about the way you talk about, the way you treat them about your presence,

about your energy is insanely insanely important. So this should give you enough motivation

to want

feedback. Now on to the next point that I was making earlier, it feels like they're telling you to adjust your personality or your behavior. Well, let's be clear when a great leader

or a great friend

gives you feedback, it should be focused on the behavior when you as a leader give anybody feedback. If somebody asks

you for feedback or if you see an opportunity to say you're an executive, say your


say you're an entrepreneur and you're and you

need to give somebody feedback

on your team. The way I've learned to give feedback. The best example of how I've learned to give feedback was from marty moore, who I've

had on the podcast, martin G more. This was, I don't know, maybe 56 episodes ago, he's an exceptional executive and oh that could be the title of a book. The

Exceptional Executive. You may remember, I think it's peter Drucker the effective executive. He taught me that you want

to critique

the behavior and praise the personality. So in essence, you're gonna go listen sally like

when you do this spreadsheet, you

need to make sure that you save it correctly and that you color coded correctly.

And then when you send it off, you c c me and bob every time you do one of these spreadsheets

and I really know that ultimately you're a very hard

worker and you really care and I appreciate your diligence and you end with the praise on the personality, so you critique the behavior and you praise her. Why do you do that? Because behavior is easily changeable, personality is often

not. You don't want to make somebody feel like the who they are and what

they are is the problem. You want them to see that it's just a behavior tweak, it's an easy change. So I give you

a little sip of coffee here. I give you this frame first around the behavior

change and and in

terms of I give you this frame first of just how to give the feedback as well, because I want you to understand what effective feedback looks like. So you should put your uh perspective in that

position where if you're receiving feedback. Well, first of all, most people

don't know how to do it, but remember that this person

is here to

critique your behavior, it's not something wrong with you, it's something that you may want to consider

changing about the

way you do things. So the first and most important step in receiving feedback is actually asking for it. Most people are never going to give you feedback. Never ever ever ever ever are they going to give you feedback and if they do they're not giving it to you from a place that you want it? You need to set them up in a position where

they feel safe to give

feedback and you make it clear that you desire it, john I would like your honest feedback on my speech and I don't want to hear some bullshit about how it's a great talk because you want me to feel good about myself. I'm sure it was okay. What I want is the parts that I can improve because I can always call my mom or my sister or my best friend and they can pump me up and tell me what a great job I did. But I need you john to tell me what I can do better. And so you create this space first for the safe feedback and you inquire you

ask for it. It's very important that you do. I've been talking about this for over a decade, that the process of, you know, I I even call them the three magic questions. If you google


Asadi three Magic questions, this should come up. It's a blog post from about 10 years ago. It's, I think it's one of my top hits one of the most popular things that I had ever

written back then when I was blogging. So definitely check that out. But I think it's critical you asked the question, you create the safe space and then you listen. But how do you

listen? The next step is to be insanely



curious when somebody is talking and giving you feedback, you need to be


where is this information coming from? What kind of person is this? Because the next step after that, after being curious and being in that frame of mind is

to understand

their view. You need to understand their worldview and know that any feedback that a person gives you is obviously subjective from their worldview. So as much as I'm telling you that feedback is important, I don't want you to funk up your whole life because of one piece of feedback. It's one person's advice. You have to take it with a grain of salt. So

this is their worldview and your job is to accumulate

the feedback,

the genuine authentic

feedback from as many people as possible who come from different worldviews and by

accumulating these different

worldviews, you're almost putting a

puzzle together.

Imagine a quilt and this quilt is the

quilt of all the different perspectives and

worldviews of these other

people and your job is to understand how you show up in the world based on what other people see and the better that you can understand

that the more

you can access your power, your strength and begin to make these things about yourself conscious

so that you realize, hey,

I come off a little bit

aggressive or I come off a little bit

bashful or I come off a little bit quiet or I come off a little bit loud or I come off come off a little bit insecure, or I come off a little bit egotistical

and overly confident and cocky, or I come off a little bit loud, you know, or whatever it might be, and I'm, and I'm describing very surface level things right now that our first step, these are, these are very critical, important, service level things, although of course, like how do you actually show up, are you aware if you come off bashful or cocky or loud or

whatever it might be,

you know, in particular in like networking situations or business situations, how do you come off? Do you come off certain? Do you come off in, you know, uncertain. Do you come off like you are the leader of the group or the follower of the group? Neither one of those is a bad thing, It's just awareness of like, where do I

land here, how do I

show up in the


and as you open that door and you go down the path of receiving feedback, everything will change. One of the reasons that I actually recorded this podcast is because I talked to a lot of friends in particular women and they often come to me and they

talk about how difficult it it's some difficulty that they're going through at

work, They're in some

sort of conflict there in some sort of situation at work where somebody's talking sh

it or you know they just got told by their boss that they need to do X, y and Z. And they're not actually understanding the opportunity in front of them. Mm hmm. They're viewing it as an attack. They're getting defensive. They're getting sensitive and they're getting emotional and it's so funny because I literally just earlier today, I'm currently in florida West Palm Beach at the permission lists crypto conference. And I was sitting at the bar with my friend Marcus and then there were these two ladies to the next, you know, to the to the left of me and they overheard me talking about crypto and they started talking to me about crypto. Oh my God my boyfriend won't stop talking to me about crypto was like what are you guys doing? She's like, well we met up for a drink because my friends going through a tough time at work and I'm trying to explain to


uh that you know, the topic at hand was don't be emotional in business. And one friend was telling the other friend how important it is to separate emotions from business. And I couldn't agree

more. Unfortunately

it's necessary. Yes. It's important to have empathy. Yes. It's important to not be a stone cold

robot that just you know blows people over and

doesn't give them time today. I don't think that's what we're saying. But we are saying is what happens in business. It's very important to separate the emotion out of it in particular when it comes to people, when it comes to the people

that you're dealing with,

the comments that they make, the actions, the things that unfold, the the events that take place that might feel like catastrophes. You have to remove the emotion out of the situation. If you don't, you will make poor decisions, you will not understand what

the person is saying. And for many

reasons, as you know that I've talked about on this podcast when it comes to psychology. The reason above all that we cannot take feedback well and we get defensive and we get triggered is because it brings up a wound. These are wounds from our teenage years from our childhood of things that we learned things that we experienced and when we experience them as adults, they bring up a charge of emotions and we don't know why because we haven't done the work to make it conscious. But if you make it conscious and you separate the emotion and you realize that this event, this

color this person this

way of talking the way this person shows up in the world is making you emotional, angry or upset or stressed is because of something that you went through earlier in life. There's freedom in that there's great freedom in that because the moment you make that conscious you can then separate the emotion from it here, the person for what they're really saying, not turn them into the enemy and go, okay cool, so maybe that is how I come off sometimes. My bad. Alright, that's good to know because the reality is that if it was a different person or a different way of speaking and it didn't trigger you, you would have no problem with with what that person is saying. That's totally true. So create the space for the person to give you feedback. Get curious, be really open, make it safe for them and then understand their worldview and begin to accumulate all these different worldviews to to quilt this, you know, to to put this quilt together and understand this blanket of how you show up in the world. Because understanding how you show up in the world gives you power to understand how you can

get results because

then you become successful.



Above all, it is so important. In particular, if you are an employee or an executive or a manager in a in a job getting emotional about feedback is what can

destroy your career. I really have watched this happen so many times where people get into drama and situations

because they cannot

separate the facts from the emotions that they personally subjectively

feel. They get caught up in some drama story and they go back

and forth back and forth, go home, talk to the wife, talk to the husband, tell them what happened. Oh my God jimmy's a prick, go to work the next day, feel angry about jimmy, confront jimmy,

have a one on one with jimmy, have a sidebar about jimmy. Talk sh it about jimmy, jimmy's talking sh about me. So I'm talking about jimmy. Oh really? Are you talking about jimmy? Because jimmy's talking about you, Why is jimmy talking about you? Maybe jim is talking about you and that's not your problem and you should put your head down and stay in your lane and get your work done and be successful and go home and have a happy life because it's not worth it. And jimmy doesn't fucking matter anyway. Like why are you getting caught up about jimmy? Why is jimmy triggered in the first place? Maybe it's because you're number one and jimmy wants to be number one. Maybe you're a threat to jimmy, Maybe jimmy's just generally threatened by you.

Maybe jimmy doesn't like your

face, Maybe you don't like jimmy's face, who the fun cares getting caught up with that stuff. That drama is not going to get you anywhere and I want to make sure to separate those people and that type of stuff from the

real good feedback

that exists in life that you can acquire to make yourself a better, stronger wiser person. That is the good stuff. That's the stuff you want to accumulate and you want to stay away from the jimmies and the sallies that are talking ship and causing drama because guess

what, that

person at the end of the day is unhappy and if somebody is unhappy with you and they're talking about you, they're not gonna get anywhere anyway and if they do let them let them play that game in life because that's not the game you're here to play. So feedback is very,

very important

and paramount to your success. So I highly recommend as an exercise just to make this actionable and this is exactly what I did with the three Magic

questions I said,

you know, go and find some people talk to 5 to 7 people that you can get some feedback from and ask them, ask them a few basic questions. Uh let me actually pull it up for you right now. I know I tease this and I said that this is what this is um something that you should go find, but let me actually see if I can even find this for you. I probably can't. Yes, I can hear it is So the first thing you want to ask people above all um and we've talked about why it, why it matters and the questions you need to ask them. So let's just go right into the questions now, what is something that I do better than most people? That is the first question that is one question that you need to know the answer

to. You need to know that because you need

to know what is my unique ability in life and you need to double and triple down on that and you need to do more and more of that? So again, the first question is what is something that I do better than most people? Second question is, and that's so that's all around mastering a skill. The next question is identifying your good and bad habits that you may or may not be aware of. So the question is what is a habit that I may not be aware of? And again, don't feel bad, make it safe for them. But they might say you're biting your nails or you're always talking over people or you tend to be negative or you tend to be this or that and you want to pull that out, You really, really want to get to the bottom of it. And lastly, just to understand how you are branded in the world, how do people uh really see you? You would ask something like how would you describe me to a friend of yours when you talk about me or you introduce me to other people, How do you describe me to your friends? And I think that that will generally help you understand how your branded and one of the things that I believe in as someone with a marketing background is that if you don't brand yourself, people will brand you. So make sure that

you have a very clear way

of defining yourself in the world, who you want to be, what you do for others, what is the value and impact that you bring to the world, What do you actually produce? You know, and make that your brand make it very clear, make it to sink to make it focused on what you do for others and make sure you have that on your website or on your instagram or on

your linkedin or whatever it might be, because again, if you don't, people

won't know how to describe

you or


describe you inaccurately

and neither of those is a good thing, so that is it, I hope you enjoyed um I think it would make sense. Yeah, I probably should ask, you know along that vein, I would love your feedback, I would love your feedback on this show. Um it had been a while since the last episode and actually just for those of you that are there, thank you for making it all the way through the episode and know that actually um I was motivated to make this happen. I've been so busy

and I was talking to um one

of my mentees and the guy that does a lot of my videos who I highly recommend Suhas chopra and I told him I said I need some accountability man and he said well you know what is something you're afraid of and I went through, you know, we were trying to come up with accountability for me to get an episode out and and start getting consistent again and you know, there were a few things I said that we weren't able to turn into an accountability exercise, but then I said I'm afraid of heights, I hate bungee jumping, had to do it one time and I absolutely hated it. And then what we came up with was was if I don't get this episode done by Tuesday along

with getting this whole idea, I have for a vlog video

started, then

I have to bungee jump. So if

you need some motivation, find an accountability partner, that's always a good exercise. But anyway, um I really, really, really love doing this podcast as you know, it's one of my favorite things in the world and I would love your feedback on it. I would love to know what I can do better and as you know, you're not going to hurt my feelings. So be honest with me, bring it and send me a message, you know where to reach me, instagram, DM, email um you know through my website, contact form, send me a letter, whatever it is, guys, twitter message Dm there's many ways to reach me, so let me know and I will keep it coming and if you have not left a review for me at all before, I

would love if you could do that on apple podcasts. If you go to flow with Armand Asadi and you scroll

down, you'll see the little star rating section and then just write a little something I would love to hear from you.

Um, All

right. I think that's it until next time, peace.