Is being defensive killing your growth?
I recognize that I have a defensive nature. It’s something that I’ve had to deal with to get better at adulting. I almost always catch myself thinking, “But, I AM doing that!” before even listening to a critique or comment from someone.
Being defensive, especially in a situation where you have hired someone to help you with a certain task, can waste time and money. Your body language and words can convey the wrong message when it comes to receiving feedback.
This is not to say that if something hurts or you don’t feel comfortable you shouldn’t say something in a training situation. That is a reason to speak up and not what I’m touching on here. This is about listening to those who intend to help you become better at lifting, your job, or anything for that matter. You can always decide if the critique is not valid after you listen, but you might want to ask yourself some questions first.
Recognizing this defensiveness is an important step. I found these questions helpful from this article:
Do you find your heart racing a bit when getting feedback?
Do you start sentences with "But" when replying?
Do you cross your arms when people are giving the feedback?
Do you find yourself blaming others?
Do you find yourself listing reasons in your mind why someone’s feedback is not valid before they even finish?
Do you nod your head in agreement and smile until the person stops talking?
Being defensive puts you in fight or flight mode. If you are in fight or flight mode you are not going to be receptive to feedback that may help you to improve. Let’s face it. We can all use some helpful advice here and there to improve our relationships, communication, or training, as well as many other areas of life.
Take some deep breaths and try to relax. Uncross those arms and listen.
I think we can all agree that no matter what we do there is generally someone out there who can give us pointers on how to improve the way we do things, whether it’s business, relationships, or a deadlift. I welcome advice on my coaching and movement if anyone can improve it. We cannot grow in any of these areas if others do not offer us feedback.
Do you recognize any of these defensive traits in yourself? What are your thoughts on it and how do you plan to address it?