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Cognitive Development

This is learning that supports leaders to be inclusive at all levels, to be engaged and push beyond best practices. Cognitive development transforms our worldview, our mindset, as well as our ego and self-concept. This development supports movement from rigid beliefs and conformity to comfort with ambiguity allowing for adaptive and creative solutions.

Article Synopsis

How to Give Feedback to People Who Cry, Yell, or Get Defensive

In her web article "How to Give Feedback to People Who Cry, Yell, or Get Defensive", Amy Jen Su advises leaders and managers on how make sure they are properly giving feedback to employees or subordinates that do not take criticism well. She asserts that the key is to make sure the employee knows that you are giving them feedback so that they can succeed, not to belittle them. It is also important to be thoroughly prepared for performance reviews. Organizing your thoughts on a person’s work and how they will react to your criticism can help you to stay calm in the heat of the moment. Su explains that the goal is to "diffuse the emotional reaction so that you can productively give the feedback and, together, come up with ideas and actions to ensure the person’s success."

Su goes on to give more detailed advice. For those who have a tendency to cry, she advices to put their reviews at the end of the day so the person can go home and digest the feedback afterwards and to keep in mind that you might have to meet again once the person has calmed down. For those who have tendency to yell, it is imperative to stay calm and to not let them rile you up or intimidate you. Su quotes Kim Castelda, "Be willing to shut down a meeting that is not productive or professional." For those who have a tendency to get defensive, it is important to call the person out for not listening and encourage them to start.

Su concludes that while emotional reactions can create rifts in a conversation, focusing on good intentions and acting calmly and effectively in the moment can bridge the gaps and ensure a productive discussion.

Guiding Questions

How to Give Feedback to People Who Cry, Yell, or Get Defensive

  1. Think back to a time when someone gave you feedback for your performance. Do you think you handled the criticism well? If not, how could you have handled it better?
  2. Have you ever had to give feedback to a subordinate or a peer? How did it go? If you could go back and change the way you gave it, what would you change?
  3. How do you best take criticism?

Reference

How to Give Feedback to People Who Cry, Yell, or Get Defensive

Su, Amy Jen. "How to Give Feedback to People Who Cry, Yell, or Get Defensive." Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business School Publishing, 21 Apr. 2017, Accessed 27 June 2018.