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How can I be less reactive when I get negative feedback? 

By  Robbie MacCue

  • Be sure that when you are getting feedback that you are in a calm/peaceful state of mind. If your mind is revved up (lots of insecure or worried thinking) any feedback will seem negative or offensive
  • Take some time to think about a time when you received feedback that was helpful / constructive or didn’t occur negative, Why was that? What were the factors about that situation that made it helpful for you? How often or the time between?
  • Can we assume the best? Negative is an interpretation that our mind makes up when we are feeling insecure, etc. Not a fan of positive thinking but if you can see that your reactivity is not serving you, ask yourself, Could I hear this feedback differently? Perhaps as a contribution? Or how the feedback will support your growth and development
  • How often do we get feedback and is it only when it’s critical/something wrong?

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Full Video Transcript

 Welcome to today's EMS leadership, Q and A.  I'm Lisa Giruzzi here with Robbie MacCue. We are the co-founders of EMS leadership Academy. And for those of you that don't know, we help EMS leaders bring out the best in themselves. And others Question is a really great one. The question is, how can I be less reactive when I get negative feedback?

It feels like the million dollar question right. Is absolutely the million dollar question, Lisa, as so many people out there. I think our struggle with this along with myself is how to, how to take the feedback constructively. And how do you give feedback so that it lands well? Yeah. And you know, first of all, I think we have to be mindful of our state of mind mindful of our state of mind when we're getting feedback.

Because if we're in a wrecked up insecure state of mind, you know, we have a lot of thinking going on, worry about things, anxious about things it's really, really difficult to have any feedback sound constructive. It all sounds negative. You ever noticed that when you're anxious, everything feels like it's negative or it feels like it's hard. So it,

it, you know, be just be mindful of your own state of mind. And then I think that it's helpful to try to slow yourself down because if, if you get feedback and that triggers your mind to go faster, I think it's really helpful to kind of slow yourself down and just get present to it's just words that are coming out of someone's mouth.

You know, it's just their opinion about something it's not, you know, true or false. It's a perspective. I think that's great. And maybe a tip is that what if we assumed the best in the situation, we assume that the person giving us the feedback has really does have their best, our best intention in mind, we don't read into things and add story to,

to people's interpretation of what are they really trying to say to me? I think that's, that's another key because I think in most of these situations, nobody's, nobody's trying to mess with your mind in a sense he's trying to, while it may don't add stories like, Oh, they're Monday quarterbacking. My, my care that was from the weekend that they weren't there,

which is completely true. So maybe you'd invite listeners to think about a time when you received feedback and that was helpful. It was constructive and it didn't occur as negative. Why was that? What were the factors involved about the situation that made it helpful for you even just the language they used this? Where did they give the feedback? Was it in person?

Was it in, was it over a QA flag or feedback and think about, was it, what was the timeframe between when it happened and when you actually got feedback, something that happened two months ago, that would been great to know. You've seen this person 10 times since then. And all of a sudden they're bringing up something from months ago and Yeah,

and I, and I think you've raised a really good point, which is negative as an interpretation. You know, imagine if your best friend or closest colleague or somebody who you really respect was giving you the feedback versus whoever is giving you the feedback. And you're having that negative reaction. Our mind is constantly interpreting things. And, and, you know,

just kind of the way I started this, our state of mind has a lot to do with actually everything to do with how something occurs. If it occurs as negative or positive, it's all interpretation. And while I'm not a fan of, you know, positive thinking, I think what you're talking about is, is assuming the best that the person has your best interest at heart.

But if you can also see that your rec reactivity is not serving you, you know, and it's also not serving the situation. So can you hear the feedback differently? You know, like you said, perhaps it's a contribution, how will it support your growth and development if you weren't taking it personally or negatively, would this be a valuable contribution to you?

Yeah, that's, that's so that's so true. And think about too, if you're giving feedback, I know the question is about being less reactive when I get feedback, but if you're giving people feedback, is it only when there's something wrong, you get pulled into the office because it's only going to be something wrong and maybe shifting to, well, what about giving people feedback?

When things go really well, or you hear a story about, you know, they called, we, we got some feedback on the outcome of this case and, and those were great times. And like, not just saying, Hey, you did a good job, but why did somebody do a good job? Hey, your times were great. You'll recognize that was a stroke patient that you recognize this and that.

And you really put some detail into why somebody did something great. And I think that would really shift people's occurrence of, Oh gosh, what immediately? What did I do that door closed? That's right. And I think that a great resource that we have available currently for people is the, what we call the mini course. And although I would not let the word mini fool you,

it is it's really powerful and impactful and it's free currently. So if you go to EMS leadership academy.com/mini, you can sign up for this online self-paced course. It's a, it's only four modules, but it's very powerful and will help you to understand more about what we're talking about. Excellent. I think it was a great answer, folks. Thanks for watching.

If you have a question you'd like to submit, please share it with us. You can send us an email support@emsleadershipacademy.com or leave us a voicemail (888) 330-8288. And we take your questions every week and hopefully provide some insightful feedback. So thanks for joining us today.

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Robbie MacCue


Robbie is the cofounder of the EMS Leadership Academy, host of the EMS Leadership Summit, and paramedic captain in Albany, NY where he serves in the Special Operations Division for ground rescue, flight, & tactical medicine. He performs international medical flights with North America's largest fixed wing Air Ambulance service. For more than 14 years, Robbie served as President of a non-profit EMS organization advocating for increased funding and raising the bar of excellence. In addition, Robbie is an American Heart Association advocate who is passionate about empowering others to save more lives. He has taught physicians, nurses, and other medical providers Advanced Cardiac Life Support at medical schools and hospitals throughout Manhattan. Robbie has undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a MBA from Case Western Reserve University and provides business consulting that combines his love of technology with healthcare.

Robbie MacCue

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