Our brain is wired to look for what’s wrong, bad, or threatening as a way to keep us safe. However, what worked in the Stone Age can get in your way at work. For instance, if your peer tells you he doesn’t like something you did, it’s natural (but not necessarily smart) to react by aggressively pushing back. That’s due to your brain’s wiring. Choose to remain in control rather than react instinctively.
When you feel threatened, take deep breaths to derail your fight-or-flight response. Remain calm by staying curious, e.g., “Why did you come to that conclusion?” “Help me understand why this is coming up now?” This approach will also keep you from being defensive. Evaluate the feedback to determine its veracity and possible implications. Thank your peer (even if you have to grit your teeth) for their input. Every interaction teaches you something if you’re open to learning. Welcome all feedback and remember that it’s helping you to become a more resilient and stronger businessperson. Make sure you control your instincts so that you act appropriately at work.
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