I want to feel calm when I receive critical feedback

Coaching prompts: Real accounts from coaching sessions

Illustration by Kiry Luc

Coachee: Like any business owner, I want my customers to be happy. I also want my customers to give me feedback when they’re not happy, so I can address their concerns. But, every time one of my customers gives me critical feedback, I feel like I’m not doing enough and I get really anxious. It doesn’t make any sense. The feeling just takes over, and now it’s starting to impact my health. I don’t know what to do.

Coach: What do you really want?

Coachee: I want to feel calm when I receive critical feedback.

Additional Questions:

  • What would it look like to do enough? To be enough?
  • How does the anxiousness serve you?
  • In which situations have you stayed calm after receiving critical feedback?

David’s Final Thought: Sure, critical feedback can be a gift. It can also hurt to hear it. If it hurts, pay attention to the feeling to understand where it comes from and what else is happening in the moment you feel it. 

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