Avoid Appearing Defensive Or Arrogant
Refine your communication skills by learning to harness your emotional intelligence with one of the UK's most acclaimed management training courses.
What gets in the way of developing and holding on to new communication skills are old habits of thinking and speaking. Even if the advice is very good the reason why it rarely sticks are the mental habits people inevitably revert to, especially under pressure.
Unlearning those old habits and internalising a more effective and lasting approach to communication needs more than a short course of lectures on how to do it.
What makes this training stand out is the exceptional support through one-to-one coaching sessions and continuous feedback. Changing behaviour is not an easy task as old habits are hard to break.
With a 40-year track record we can help you cultivate practical skills, and build your confidence to so you can successfully navigate real-world challenges, ensuring lasting behavioural improvements.
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This course is designed to help you develop your ability to take criticism without becoming defensive or arrogant. Receiving criticism can be incredibly difficult and it is normal to feel a bit overwhelmed when faced with negative feedback. Fortunately, there are ways to face critiques productively and improve our listening skills in difficult situations. On this training course you can learn the best strategies for receiving constructive feedback from different sources such as family members, colleagues, or bosses.
You'll learn how to identify defensiveness triggers and practice emotional intelligence so that you can gain insight into your own strengths rather than simply reacting negatively when criticised. You'll learn the importance of humility in conversations that involve uncomfortable topics - like accepting critical feedback.
You'll be able to identifying root psychological triggers such as fear and insecurity associated with defensiveness can help anticipate these reactions prior to a difficult conversation. You'll learn communication techniques that help distinguish between how input affects us and underlying intentions of those offering criticism.
You'll develop self-awareness, understanding others’ communication styles, assuming good intentions and adopting a growth mindset are all strategies for responding non-defensively when receiving criticism effectively.
You'll develop your active listening skills, and techniques like physically pausing during conversations, managing one’s own defences and impulses in order not react defensively once the focus shifts into our work performance specifically.
You will learn a set of powerful emotional intelligence communication techniques so that you can manage difficult conversations, handle challenging situations, build relationships and set firm boundaries.
The goal of this training is to equip you with the tools they need to build strong, lasting relationships in your professional life, although because these skills are so transferable many clients report vast improvements in their personal relationships as well.
This is a skills development rather than just a theoretical programme, so the emphasis throughout will be on you taking turn after turn, practising your skills, while receiving feedback and coaching about your effect on others.
In your coaching sessions you will be helped to practise dealing with the kinds of situation you find challenging, again and again, until you are confident you can do it successfully.
We'll combine practical, hands-on experience with video replay and analysis and discussion of the principles involved to help you gain both skills and understanding. Special attention is paid to your individual training needs, so you can practise your skills in real-life situations that you have to handle at work.
That's why as well as your place in a small group, this training includes a generous amount of private and confidential one-to-one coaching sessions online, spread over several months, ensuring an exceptional level of support. This will ensure the changes you make are sustained over a longer period of time and any obstacles are overcome. Choose between online training available worldwide, or in-person face-to-face courses in the UK.
For a list of upcoming course dates (for online coaching and face-to-face training), the locations of the next 3-day public courses in the UK and pricing Click here.
This initial coaching session serves as an introduction to the "Skills with People" course, allowing you to understand the course's relevance and effectiveness for your specific needs before committing to it.
It is important to identify the underlying triggers of feeling defensive and recognise that fear and insecurity play a major role.
When it comes to receiving criticism, feeling insecure and afraid can be the root cause of defensiveness. When an individual is threatened or perceives that their sense of self-worth could be lowered by the feedback they're being given, they become defensive, expressing righteous indignation as well as playing the victim in order to protect themselves from any perceived attack.
These emotions and thoughts arise even if no personal attack has been made.
At its core, fear can prevent people from hearing objective ideas such as suggestions for improvement and understanding to receive constructive criticism and feedback – blocking out this kind of beneficial information due to a need for security and safety.
Defensiveness can be triggered by difficulty dealing with criticism or a person's negative reaction toward it. Individuals expecting to receive criticism are prone to become defensive before they've even heard what was said.
This anticipation of a perceived attack triggers an involuntary response that affects how the receiver will interpret any future communication, often leading to further wrong assumptions and defensiveness.
Anticipation is crucial for managing one’s own defences and impulses when receiving criticism. By recognising triggers from past experiences, people can anticipate their feelings before hearing something damaging or difficult and begin coming up with strategies on how to better respond positively instead of defensively.
For example, someone who knows that they tend to often feel defensive and overwhelmed when receiving critical feedback from their boss they could prepare themselves mentally ahead of time by pausing as soon as the conversation starts in order not react defensively once it shifts focus towards them specifically. Empathy also helps. If you can tune in on the other person’s wavelength and help them to articulate why something matters to them it takes the sting out of their feedback.
The difference between defensiveness and setting boundaries can be subtle but immensely important. When receiving criticism, people may instinctively feel defensive or put up walls in order to protect themselves from the perceived attack.
It’s essential to understand that this behaviour is often a reaction to fear and insecurity rather than an intentional physical response itself.
Defensiveness is a coping strategy used when faced with feelings of guilt, failure or shame—basically, anything that triggers our self-esteem in negative ways. Defensive statements and behavior often involve shifting blame, labelling others as attackers and justifying one's behaviour by saying it was "the only option".
This type of attitude works against building healthy relationships since it does not allow for compromise or genuine discussion.
In contrast, setting clear boundaries while responding to criticism involves owning our actions and taking responsibility while also asserting our needs without attacking the other person’s opinion.
Our training focuses on words such as “I feel …” instead of making judgements, such as “You’re bad at …” which puts the focus back onto us instead of someone else who ultimately cannot control what we do anyway.
When receiving feedback from another person we need not take things personally; once again our training helps distinguish between how something impacts us AND whether there are any underlying intentions towards harm or offence associated with those behaviours so that ego won't influence decisions unnecessarily disproportionately.
Focusing on positives more frequently will encourage people around you both professionally and interpersonally while avoiding unhelpful reactions like defensiveness likewise builds healthier relationships overall in both at work place movement with colleagues as well domestically amongst family members alike - everyone can benefit from emotional intelligence practices!
Having a high emotional intelligence is extremely important when it comes to receiving criticism without appearing defensive or arrogant. Emotional intelligence involves being keenly aware of one’s feelings, learning how to manage and express them appropriately, as well as recognising the emotions of others and responding accordingly.
This self-awareness can provide an individual with the insight needed for handling criticism in a constructive mannerrather than defensively.
When receiving difficult feedback, having high emotional intelligence helps you stay calm and in control of your mind and body; instead of reacting emotionally to perceived attacks on yourself, you can take deep breaths or take into account any physical responses that could hinder communication.
People with strong emotional skills have been shown to recognise personal triggers related to defensiveness, fostering easier conversations by avoiding potential conflicts before they arise.
This awareness also allows successful people to differentiate between what is worth defending and what should be let go because it isn’t going anywhere constructive - leading them towards working processes in relationships or at work that are more efficient as no energy is wasted on useless arguments and quarrels.
Armed with these skillsets, allowing for active listening and empathetic understanding towards opposing viewpoints, followed by respectful debates serve those well who receive feedback. In critical situations these skills enable them both resilience during difficult moments, and also makes sure you don’t err too far away from the real actual issues people talk about.
There are several other ways to respond non-defensively when receiving criticism – noticing and identifying defensiveness, assuming good intentions, adopting a growth mindset and self-compassion.
When receiving criticism, it is important to be able to recognise any signs of defensiveness. Defensiveness is an effort to deflect and explain away behaviour that is being criticised instead of accepting responsibility. It often results from fear or insecurity which triggers defensive body language like crossed arms, raised eyebrows, clenched fists or tightened jawlines. Phrases such as “That’s not true!”, “But you said….” or audible sighs are some of the other reactions indicative of getting defensive when faced with difficult feedback. Being aware about one's own defence mechanisms can help identify them and work towards avoiding a deflected conversation in future interactions.
When faced with criticism, it can be easy to become defensive and see the other person’s point of view as a personal attack. Assume good intentions as one of the best ways to remove this defence framework and effectively defend the truth for oneself in response.
Good intentions assume that regardless of any value judgments or perceived wrongdoings by either person, everyone involved approach a conversation with honest, positive intent. This helps people address criticisms without feeling attacked; instead, being open-minded enough to recognise different points of view allows them to calmly respond in order to resolve disagreements amicably.
By assuming good intentions when receiving critique from someone else, it is much easier for people to handle constructive criticism in a respectful manner while focusing on the actual issues at hand instead getting overwhelmed by their own emotions such as anger or hurt feelings.
One of the key skills to being able to receive criticism without becoming defensive or arrogant is adopting a growth mindset. A growth mindset means that people believe in their own capacity for self-development.
It allows them to move forward instead of seeing yourself as stuck and unable to improve. People who adopt a growth mindset are willing to accept challenges, persevere during setbacks, learn from others’ successes and criticisms, and strive for success despite failure.
Research has shown that people with this kind of attitude are more likely to respond positively when faced with negative feedback from others because they choose not to become overwhelmed by it but focus on how they can use it grow and improve.
Self-compassion can help us cope with critical feedback by serving as our own supportive friend. Self-compassion involves understanding ourselves and our emotions, exercising self-kindness instead of self-judgment, accepting our imperfections, and having a sense of nonjudgemental concern for one’s suffering.
According to research, self-compassion is associated with greater wisdom and emotional intelligence which can be helpful in responding to criticism without being defensive or arrogant.
Additionally, studies have found that having this kind of compassion for oneself is linked to healthy eating and regular exercise which keep your heart strong; it also helps individuals manage their emotions effectively and cope with pressure better due to its calming effect on the body.
When handling criticism in work relationships navigating criticism in a professional relationship can be tricky and often requires clear communication, mutual respect, and an open-mind.
One example of handling criticism well can be seen in a situation when someone is constantly being criticised. This kind of environment can be emotionally taxing for the person receiving the criticism since it may often feel like an attack instead of constructive feedback, leading them to become defensive and resentful.
To practice healthy communication skills, it's important to recognise triggers and anticipate criticism with deep breaths or other calming physical responses before reacting harshly or defensively.
Take time out if necessary and calmly explain what was said that was hurtful while also recognising moments that weren’t intended to be negative at all. Taking responsibility, not blaming others, setting boundaries where necessary regarding how you want to be spoken too will go a long way towards establishing respectful relationships between all parties involved. On this training course we can show you how to do it.
Understanding the feedback, listening without judgement, evaluating impartially and responding positively are all key steps to handle criticism with decorum.
Constructive criticism is a positive form of feedback which provides opportunities and ideas for improvement. It is received feedback and offers specific recommendations with an aim to help the receiver work towards self-improvement in an effective way without feeling personally attacked or criticised.
The purpose of constructive criticism is not to point out what went wrong, but rather guide the recipient of the critique towards resolving their flaws and making meaningful progress by using useful tools like questioning, reflecting, listening and learning. A problem sometimes arrises because the feedback is not always delivered skilfully, so sometimes it is communicated clumsily, which can make it difficult to take if someone on the receiving end feels unfairly blamed.
Seeking feedback from others helps one become more aware about how other people perceive them, thus providing insights into different perspectives on a situation. Constructive critiques should be delivered in considerate manner emphasising helpfulness rather than unpredictability or insecurity as this will help foster better relationships between those involved in order to facilitate development on both sides.
When receiving criticism, it is essential to remain engaged and listen attentively to hear the other person’s perspective. Active listening is when you focus on understanding rather than responding while showing respect for what the other person has to say.
Chances are that if both sides can openly communicate and engage in an active conversation, reaching a mutual understanding becomes possible. When it comes to constructive criticism especially, actively engaging with the person giving feedback allows one to come up with solutions together as opposed to simply attacking the issue at hand or undermining their comments entirely.
Listening respectfully also communicates a willingness for self-improvement which can open doors for further development opportunities in personal growth and team building exercises respectively.
Understanding feedback objectively is critical for making meaningful improvements. Although it can be difficult to remain neutral and keep emotions out of the equation, taking the time to accurately assess feedback can help us get closer to achieving our goals in both our personal and professional lives. Here are some strategies for effectively evaluating feedback objectively:
Teaching and supporting other people to better handle constructive criticism as well as their expectations and allowing for their emotional growth is a crucial step in encouraging a strong sense of understanding and resilience.
Providing emotional support and encouragement is one of the best ways to help others develop their emotional intelligence. By allowing them to practice recognising their responses to criticism, managing intense emotions, or being open-minded about feedback they disagree with, colleagues can learn how to become resilient in the face of criticism.
It can also help individuals spot their triggers or biases that could influence judgement, not letting defensive reactions get in the way of addressing any issues raised constructively.
For example, by helping someone recognise an angry reaction and pause for a few moments before responding with measured language rather than something aggressive allows all parties involved in a conversation to remain calm and constructive in tackling difficult topics.
Acknowledging arrogance and cultivating humility are essential to successfully receive constructive criticism without appearing boastful or egotistical.
When it comes to receiving criticism without appearing defensive or arrogant, one of the most important aspects is being able to recognise and acknowledge arrogance. Arrogance is a trait where individuals believe they are better than they actually are.
It's often associated with egocentrism and a focus on oneself, as well as having excessive confidence that isn't always warranted. This trai can have negative consequences, such as alienating others who feel like their input or opinions don’t matter and aren't taken into consideration by those displaying arrogance.
It also means that arrogant people fail to see their own shortcomings, meaning there may be areas where improvements could be made but an individual won't realise them due to their ego-centric behaviour.
Humility is essential in order to receive feedback and how to receive criticism without appearing defensive or arrogant. Being humble involves self-reflection and self-awareness, being open to correction and criticism from others, and understanding your own strengths and weaknesses in a balanced way.
Having humility is recognising the truth about oneself and one’s limitations; it allows individual flexibility instead of having an inflexible attitude driven by pride or arrogance.
By cultivating humility, successful people who can recognise their mistakes more quickly, allowing them to reflect calmly on criticism they have received rather than letting it feed into negative emotions such as fear or insecurity that lead to defensiveness.
As Napoleon Bonaparte said “You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war” - taking a step back from any perceived attack allows us room for perspective before reacting with anger; this takes practice but has long lasting benefits for both the person receiving criticism as well as anyone else involved in the conversation who doesn't want conflict escalating due to ego battles.
Developing emotional resilience is essential for learning how to manage criticism in a positive way and move on with success.
Emotional resilience is essential for individuals to successfully manage their emotions and handle criticism without appearing defensive or arrogant. It involves calming the mind after a negative experience, such as receiving criticism, in order to move forward constructively. Developing emotional resilience allows individuals to become stronger and learn from their mistakes; it helps them cope with daily life stresses more effectively and calmly.
When something doesn't go according to plan, it is important to take a step back and analyse what went wrong in that moment in order to become stronger and better in the future.
The first step to receiving criticism without being defensive, angry or arrogant is to stay calm and try not to take the feedback personally. Instead, be curious and imagine how you could use this information to achieve your goal.
It's normal for any sort of constructive criticism, doubt or feedback to make us feel hurt, however it's important not dwell on these feelings as they will prevent you from moving forward in a positive way. Take a moment if needed and then return with an open mind and clear perspective.
Yes! Learning how best to respond positively when receiving critique - rather than defensively will help create a much more productive conversation that allows both parties room for mutual understanding, growth, learning and success.. In addition, gaining better insights into yourself can help you identify areas that need improvement so you can use any potential advice provided constructively rather than negatively accepting failure through feeling hurt/insulted
Try asking clarifying questions before responding; ensure directness specifically focusing on issues instead of individuals; remain mindful about body language; Amp up your Self-Awareness & Humility levels so as not anticipate praises vs assessing mistakes (gauging eye-contact among other techniques). Remember the ultimate motive behind giving corrections which supporting improvements.