"She doesn't take feedback well."

Shell UA83
Nov 27, 2019 20 Comments

Tell me what you think this means -- I'm open to your feedback. :)

I've received vague hearsay that I "don't take feedback well." I'm not quite sure what this means. For example, are they saying that I do not implement feedback well? Or are they saying I don't react to feedback well? I've tried to ask for a specific example to better understand, but have not received any. Any thoughts?


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TOP 20 Comments
  • Airbnb new kid
    Most likely they mean you don’t react well. Like maybe you get defensive.
    Nov 27, 2019 1
    • Flagged by the community.

  • Google


    Most probably you react badly when someone is providing some feedback. I guess, you start explaining and defending yourself instead of listening.
    Nov 27, 2019 0
  • Carvana Lietome
    Maybe that you get emotional over feedback? I'm just guessing, no accusations, but my first thought why someone would say that is that they take feedback personally. Sometimes its how they perceive it and they need help adjusting their perception. You can help that by modifying your behavior, even if you think you're doing fine already.
    Nov 27, 2019 0
  • Cerner / Eng Zenobia
    If they are not providing examples than I wouldn’t think about it. I had something similar happen at my workplace where my manager told me I react when someone says something without thinking or without giving them benefit of doubt. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about, so I asked him twice for examples. He couldn’t think of anything so he told me to forget about it and think as if this discussion never happened.

    Had it happen in my prev workplace too where my boss told me in review that I speak negatively and I need to improve on it. I asked him on examples and he couldn’t give me any.
    Nov 27, 2019 2
    • EATON / Sales

      EATON Sales

      I would agree with this. I’ve been told I come across as “bossy” and also “defensive,” but never given any concrete examples or actually helpful feedback. It seems to me this kind of vague feedback says a lot more about the person giving the feedback than the one they are giving it to. If they can’t provide any helpful examples, I’d let it roll off my shoulders.
      Nov 28, 2019
    • Google techlead1
      if i was the boss i wouldn’t give examples because they will just try to argue the examples instead of getting the point. (hence proving the point that they are too defensive)
      Dec 2, 2019
  • New / Eng fckugys
    If you don’t know what they are talking about, and on top of that, they cannot provide any concrete example, that’s a problem. Giving vague feedback without anything to back it up is an indication of something else going on. However, there are a few things you can do to get ahead of it.

    Ask for feedback frequently. Simply asking “what do you think of this?” and always welcoming responses/suggestions at the end of emails, presentations, is a good practice.

    When people do respond verbally, just listen until they are done. Don’t try to head off points you disagree with. Then thank that person for engaging.

    If there is context or additional information that is missing that might change the other person’s mind, once they are done talking say, “I have some additional information you might find interesting” and then share that information before leading into any alternate opinion you may have. :) Then ask again what they think.

    When you respond, never lead with “But...” Always say “And...” and don’t negate anything the person said. Acknowledge their point and suggest a solution that solves their concern too, or acknowledge that it is an open question to be solved and suggest a follow-up. Make sure you follow-up. :)

    Be sure to check in with your manager about this. An experienced manager should be able to engage with you about this productively.
    Nov 27, 2019 1
    • Shell UA83
      Thanks! This is good, tactical advice.
      Nov 28, 2019
  • Tyler Technologies batwomannn
    Best thing I’ve ever done on this topic is read a book called Thanks For The Feedback. Highly recommend.
    Nov 27, 2019 1
  • Amazon mopfloor
    Vague feedback = stalling technique. This happens to women. With no concrete plan to improve, they are just setting you up for failure. Leave find a place that is less douchy.
    Nov 29, 2019 0
  • Wizards of the Coast qPGS27
    It could mean anything from you arguing when you receive feedback to you asking follow-up questions from someone spineless, and if the individual can't give examples there's no way of telling.

    What I would say is that when it comes to receiving feedback, your side of the story ought to be reserved for yourself and people who are invested in your future. You don't have to agree with feedback to receive feedback, because feedback is someone sharing your impressions with you, and those are real whether they are justified or not, and understanding your coworkers feelings is valuable even when those feelings are dumb or flawed.

    The issue comes when those feelings are dumb and come with a call to action, like when you get bad notes during a code review. Navigating what to do when someone likes to demand bad ideas be implemented but also can't handle debating those ideas can be really tough and I don't have good advice for you. My advice for feedback that comes with no immediate demands, though, is that listening costs nothing, and it's more common that people have good feedback that they enunciate poorly than that people have bad feedback, so listen, ask clarifying questions, don't try to tell your side, and then consider it.

    And if that's not good enough, fuck em.
    Nov 28, 2019 0
  • Target / Design wdlnd
    I can’t help but wonder—do you ever think there would be a “Men in Tech” thread discussing this? Makes me all 😆🤣😭😕
    Dec 1, 2019 0
  • Shell UA83
    Thanks everyone! :)
    Nov 27, 2019 0


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