Having a Hard Time with Feedback? Try This.

Karthik Lakshminarayanan
2 min readFeb 28, 2022

It’s perf reason in Google. Feedback is flowing — it is specific, actionable and follows the best practices of good feedback.

I also see people struggling to accept the feedback and process it. I get it. Feedback is hard to give, and can be even harder to receive. Particularly when you see the feedback blocking you from your immediate goals (for example, a stronger performance review rating or getting in the way of your promotion).

One specific situation is when there is a wide gap, as in a) Multiple people provide the same feedback and b) the receiving person cannot agree with the feedback.

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

The most common reaction is, should I go along to get along? Lose my sense of autonomy and just do what the other folks are asking me to do. I cannot keep ignoring this feedback (because I disagree with it) and focus on my other strengths, because that does not get me past the line.

Since the feedback is overwhelming, I recommend you experiment acting on the feedback for one day, and then decide what you want to do with it.

So for one day, accept the feedback. Identify what changes you would make, if the feedback was true. And then, without exception, implement those changes throughout the work day.

Things go worse during your work day once you started acting on the feedback? Don’t stop, finish the experiment. One working day, acting in “inversion” of you organically are, completely accepting the feedback as if it were right and implementing the changes, the best you can.

Think of it as being invited to have a meal in an unfamiliar restaurant, that you might otherwise never eat at. Depending on your dining experience, you might hate it and never dine there again. Or you might love it and become your new favorite restaurant. Either way, you are going to eat out many, many times, and having one (potentially) bad meal won’t take away from the quality of your life.

Likewise, try to spend one work day living the feedback, and then evaluate. How bad was it? Did any good come from it? What worked? What didn’t?

I think this is a valuable exercise to experiment with the feedback for yourself, and then decide what you want to do.

If you have a supportive manager, a coach or mentor, you can share the experience with them and can lead to interesting discoveries and takeaways about who you are, and what makes you happy.

If you have been stuck with feedback recently, try this approach. I have done it and it has worked really well for me.

Thanks for reading!



Karthik Lakshminarayanan

Product Executive, focused on turning great products into great businesses. Current: Google. Previous: VMware, AppSense and Microsoft. All views are my own.