I spend a lot of time helping clients hone their feedback delivery skills. And while I share with them a model of putting together and communicating thoughtful feedback for the receiver’s benefit, we don’t usually spend very much time talking about being on the receiving end of feedback—especially when it’s the kind that’s not delivered in a particularly thoughtful way.

So what should you do with a piece of less-than-agreeable feedback that someone (maybe thoughtlessly) just lays in front of you? Well, this Medium.com article by Claire Lew addresses just that subject in what I’d call (fair warning, here!) “colorful” terms.

Lew talks about 3 types of feedback that can frustrate us:

  1. It’s patently invalid
  2. It’s unclear whether it’s valid or not
  3. It’s valid, but it gets delivered horribly

The recommended response for each of these types varies, but avoiding a defensive reaction is key in all three cases.


How well do you handle feedback that doesn’t smell so great? Make sure you’re not compounding the problem with your reaction to it. Give some thought ahead of time to how you’d respond; and when you get feedback that stinks, respond with intention and in a way that serves your interests.



Guillermo Villar is principal coach with Cambio Coaching. He helps high-achieving individuals and teams communicate with intention to get the business results they want. If you’re interested in working with Guillermo, sign up for a free meeting to explore how he can help.