Back in a heated meeting, I was arguing with my team's product owner about our direction going forward. I could feel it in my body, the heated sensation, my blood was boiling. But in the end, no body bags were needed after the meeting.
After that meeting and I happened to have a 1-on-1 with my manager. He talked about that meeting and he gave me the "feedback".
"I know you didn't mean it, but you seemed defensive in that meeting." He said.
I mean I wasn't mean to be defensive but somehow I did respond that way.
"Getting defensive might cloud your perspective" He suggested.
I totally agreed with him. It was more of a distraction than a meaningful discussion at that point. After that 1-on-1, I thought to myself, you gotta be better than this. I did find a way to get less defensive by looking for my signal like that blood-boiling feeling and I have to remind myself that we're talking about work, we're talking about ideas; No one is attacking you. Surprisingly meetings are more enjoyable and we worked more efficiently as there were no distractions.
Without the feedback, I would be a pain to work with for my colleagues. We wouldn't be able to spend time on where it matters the most.
There are many more feedbacks that I'd received and all of them are so valuable. Because most of the time, you won't notice these flaws by yourself. But these flaws aren't bad things though, they allow us to improve.
We're like the software that we build. The first iteration won't be perfect, but we'll keep improving. We build and run our software early, so we can detect what goes wrong. We're looking for feedback to improve our software. We can do the same to ourselves too, looking for feedback to improve ourselves.
Nobody is perfect and that's what makes us perfect. We're perfect... to get better.