In our last post, we shifted the conversation from how to GIVE feedback like a Boss to how to RECEIVE it like a, well, Boss. We discussed the importance of developing a Growth Mindset and making yourself more approachable so that your people will share open, honest feedback.

But what does it actually look like to receive feedback like a boss?

So, the next time that someone approaches you with some unwanted feedback consider the following:

  1. Listen to understand – Hear them out without interruption. Mirror back what you heard and ask questions for clarification. Also ask for examples so you know more clearly when and in what way this is happening. If there is something that you disagree with, hold it until the end. This way you validate them and open further lines of communication. It’s always best for the concern to come directly to you rather than to others.  
  2. Respond carefully – Try to avoid sounding defensive. Leave your ego to the side and accept warranted concerns as well as viable advice. If you are unsure about the validity of feedback or what to do with it, ask for time to respond. Make sure to get back to the other party in a timely fashion and with a real game plan (see below). And then ask for feedback about the plan.
  3. Thank them – Let them know that you appreciate the fact that they brought this matter to you and didn’t go around you. They easily could have, and it would have been less risky and more comfortable for them. Let them know that you appreciate this growth opportunity. 
  4. Seek more feedback – Chances are that others also have opinions about the matter at hand. Seek out people whose opinion you trust and try to gauge the broader impact of your actions, words, etc. Just how widespread and valid is this concern?
  5. Do something – This may be the hardest part. No one likes to change. Hey, if your behaviors got you to the top why would they not keep you there? But we all know that leadership requires a whole different set of skills and sometimes we go into our posts without such training and awareness.  Seek to identify, alone or with a trusted confidant or coach, a set of actions that can help you grow as a leader. 
  6. Circle back – Once you’ve decided on a course of action, circle back to the party who spoke with you and share some or all of what you plan to do to improve things. This will validate their time and the risk they took while also demonstrating your desire to grow. If this person was representing others, word will quickly circulate that you’re a leader who cares and wants to keep growing. It’ll be a true win-win.  

Naphtali Hoff, PsyD, is an executive coach and President of Impactful Coaching & Consulting. For a free, no obligation consultation, please call 212.470.6139 or email Check out his new leadership book, “Becoming the New Boss”, on Amazon and on the book site, Download his free eBook for understaffed leaders at

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