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Are you a rejector or a reflector?

Are you a rejector or a reflector?

Feedback can be given either to belittle and undermine someone or it can be given with a commitment to bring out the best.  It can be difficult to distinguish where it is coming from.  Regardless of how well we know the source, no one is immune from having an off day where, on a temporary superiority kick, their ego chooses to validate itself by being overly critical and attacking others.  Dealing with rudeness is a discussion for another day.  Here we will explore constructive criticism.
True constructive criticism requires a safe environment and/or strength of character. Typically it requires both.  Thus when someone can be honest with you, even if they are delivering a pill difficult to swallow, take it as a compliment as they have faith in you and your relationship that you can take the feed back for what it is – their humble opinion, which may or may not be accurate.
Honesty reflects a strength of character that many lack.  Good criticism is not shaming or belittling of the individual or team, but stays focused on the event, action or product, and observations of what they see from their biased perspective while focused on enhancing the end result or future outcomes.  The individual committed to your success will also stick around to help you improve and will contribute their time or other resources.
The question is – Do you pause to reflect or is your tendency to reject feedback.  We have all witnessed the rejection of the feedback and at times the individual as well even at the extreme of ending the relationship.
Nothing is inherently bad or wrong, there is just effective or ineffective – depending on goals and desires.  There is nothing wrong or bad about choosing to go out for an evening in contrast to staying in. However does the activity pull us away or closer to our most important goals?  It is not wrong for me to enjoy a longer lie-in, or to start my day reading the gossip blogs but it may be ineffective if my goal is to exercise daily and the only available or consistent time to do so is early morning. Effectiveness is based on the ability to contribute to the end objective.
In reflecting one can pause, try the idea on for size, and then choose.   Trusting one’s own intuition or instincts and explore if there is merit or not.  With bullies, it is usually best to dismiss their feedback as their goal is humiliation not help. Those committed to us, our friends and advisors, may be able to offer up something that enhances our success as they share their observations.
The societal knee jerk reaction is to dismiss and reject anyone who comments on them, as it is easier to reject than to reflect. In rejecting too quickly, due to an unwillingness to explore, one may be dismissing  what our subconscious knows is accurate.  If I reject them then I don’t have to reflect. Gawd forbid if I should have to own my own actions as coming up short in some capacity.  It is easier to continue on without having to learn, grow or change. The less we are at peace in ourselves the more often we reject.
Reflection comes easier when one is at peace with themselves. Cultivating an environment where it is safe to reflect, for yourself and your teams, enhances everyone on multiple levels and has a significant ripple effect.  There is power and wisdom in reflection.