Building Self Confidence Blog

60 Seconds to Confidence #34 Confidently Dealing with Feedback

Success Tips for ManagersHave you ever been involved in an enjoyable and successful social or work event only to discover later that your flies were undone or you had a green sliver of spinach on your front tooth or that you had committed some other faux pas? Don’t you wish someone had discreetly mentioned it to you so that you could have done something about it? Aaaagh!

But the consequence of the lack of confidence to speak up in that situation is minor compared to the havoc that can be created in work and personal relationships when people refrain from giving constructive feedback to the person who needs to hear it. I’ve seen marriages destroyed and work teams paralysed because of it.

I remember working with an assistant manager whose attempts to motivate the team triggered the team members into feeling like they were back at school. The team members muttered about him behind his back and eventually complained to his manager. They lacked the confidence to deal with the assistant manager directly. The manager agreed to champion their cause and represent their grievances to the assistant manager.

The manager would not tell the assistant manager which team members had given him the feedback.

The assistant manager felt annoyed that only one side of the story had been explored. So his attention turned to how unfairly he had been treated rather than to the original issue.

That’s understandable – I’d certainly prefer people to bring issues to me…constructively…rather than complain about me behind my back to others. I’d want people to be open to hearing why I did what I did or thought what I thought, just to find out if there’s another perspective. Wouldn’t you?

Of course, my part of the bargain would be to receive feedback contructively too and make it easy for people to talk to me.

You can understand the team members taking the back door route, can’t you? They felt they didn’t have the positional power to be honest. They feared reprisals. But their actions fostered a culture of back-biting which could come back to bite them.

You can understand the manager, too. It’s easy to get sucked into riding to the rescue when you hear only one side of the story, especially if the story confirms your own prejudices.

But…the manager missed the fantastic opportunity to get everyone together to create a situation where:

  • everyone could explore, and take responsibility for, their part in creating the situation in the first place and feel empowered to remedy it confidently and skilfully in future
  • a win-win outcome could be mediated
  • lessons about creating effective, mature and adult work relationships could have been learned

So here are 3 tips to try:

  • Receive feedback with curiosity
  • Give feedback with curiosity
  • When someone moans about someone else, guide them to a more confident and skilled strategy for resolving those issues

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorWhat extra confident and skilful steps could you take in your work and personal life to turn complaints into :)?

Warm wishes



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Confidently Dealing with Criticism

Have you ever been criticised? It's one of the hardest things to deal with when you lack confidence isn't it? When you hear it or read it your body tenses as if you're about to receive a punch, your stomach churns and inside you fear it might be true or your mind rejects it as totally unfair.

Let's  be honest, sometimes that criticism is fair - it's just poorly worded and delivered feedback.

Sometimes it's just spiteful.

I'll be suggesting some ways of dealing with badly delivered feedback in another post. For now I want to share with you a helpful way of thinking about the spiteful stuff.

There's story about how Buddha thought about criticism that I thought you would find uplifting:

A man met Buddha on the street one day and began to call him mean and ugly names.

Buddha listened quietly and thoughtfully until the man ran out of criticisms, and had to pause for breath.

"If you offer something to a man and he refuses it, to whom does it belong?" asked Buddha.

The spiteful man replied, "It belongs, I suppose, to the one who offered it."

Then Buddha said, "The abus

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e and vile names you offer me, I refuse to accept."

The man turned and walked away.

Have a serene day 😉

Warm wishes


P.S. You can download more valuable confidence tips at

P.P.S. If you'd like to find out more about how to fast track your journey to natural confidence, please email Madeleine at to book a free discovery session. We will explore where you are with your confidence, where you'd like to be and what resources are available to bridge the gap.

Madeleine Morgan

Life Coach, NLP Master Practioner and Trainer

"Over the sessions I had with Madeleine I learnt a lot about myself through her personality quiz and a lot about how to manage the challenges I was facing at work. She was very patient and helped me make a big career decision. Madeleine is warm, caring and a great listener. I couldn't have made my decision without her!" Jo Brewin, Teacher

Cambridge, CB4 1LN

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