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9 Steps To Take Tough Feedback

The degree to which people are open to accepting feedback often correlates to their willingness to excel. If they’re satisfied with the status quo or unwilling to change, feedback won’t have much impact on their performance. For those committed to getting better every day, feedback is necessary though sometimes tough to take. Here are 9 steps on how to take tough feedback.


  1. Take A Breath – Deep breaths provide a calming effect.

  2. Take Notes – This allows you to maintain composure, accurately reflect what you heard and provides a resource should follow-up communication prove worthwhile.

  3. Take Accountability – Listen for and acknowledge what you can own and share the actions you can take to address the issue.

  4. Take A Picture – See everyone and everything that is involved including who is providing the feedback, the origins of their feedback, and the intent of their feedback.

  5. Take Time – Consider asking for time to reflect on the feedback so that you respond thoughtfully and with grace.

  6. Take It Seriously – Let your words and behaviors demonstrate that you appreciate the importance and significance of the feedback you’re receiving. Thank the person for the feedback they’re offering.

  7. Take Responsibility – Speak up on your behalf and respectfully address factual or perceptual inaccuracies.

  8. Take Care – Be diligent not to attack the sender or take people down by how you respond.

  9. Take The High Road – It’s easier to think about what you wanted to say than take back what you said.


Have you ever received tough feedback, the kind that’s hard to hear? Are you prepping for a meeting where you know it’s coming? Share your thoughts and insights on how you take it so that the relationship is preserved and you move forward.

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2020 Tom Schreiber