I had an interesting discussion with a really smart friend a couple of weeks back about feedback. I mentioned that like the 4/5 stages of grief, there are 3 stages of dealing with negative feedback:
Emotion - This is the stage where you are focused on the messenger more than the message... "I can't believe this person said this!" or "I'm so angry I could... !"
Introspection - If you're smart, this is where you separate the message from the messenger and consider the validity of what the person said.
Evolution - Finally, you get the opportunity to evolve.
Several days later, when we spoke again, he gave me an example of evolving from feedback. He mentioned that he had just gotten some feedback from his employees about communication. So, he put three flags on his desk: Red, Yellow, and Green. When an employee comes in, they choose what color conversation they want to have.
Red - I just want you to listen to what I'm saying. Yes or No, should I proceed?
Yellow - I'm not sure about this, I want to try to solve this but could use a little guidance
Green - Open discussion, both ways. I want feedback and lots of it.
That isnt' exactly the meaning of each flag, but you get the idea.
So, how do you deal with feedback? What about negative feedback? Are you good at getting past the emotional state? If so, how?