Making feedback not suck

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Most of us don’t respond well to feedback. We intuitively understand that feedback is important to our growth and development – not just professionally, but personally too. But we tend to shy away from it.

Receiving feedback can be a painful process. We take it personally – hitting us in our ego. It can be demoralizing. I strongly believe that most people want to do a good job and be good people, so when they receive feedback, it can seem like those two things are under attack.

So how can we learn to not only accept feedback, but maybe, in time, embrace it?

The key to taking feedback well and learning from it is by having confidence and self-awareness.

We all use different methods to do things. Sometimes our style isn’t the same as others. And that’s okay, as long as we accept the differences will still lead to the same result. We can choose to change our ways or not. We can adopt new ways of thinking or not. There’s no need to get bent out of shape when we are faced with new suggestions. Just be confident in your own path, or confident enough to be open to new ones.

Other times, we may very well have dropped the ball. It’s alright to mess up sometimes. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. Feedback (when it’s given for the right reasons) means someone cared enough about you to show you the error of your ways with the hope it will help you in the future. Have the awareness that we all make mistakes sometimes; it doesn’t mean you’re stupid or unworthy. Be grateful for others who are there to gently put you back on your feet.

As Aristotle said, “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” Be confident, be self-aware, and don’t fear feedback.

A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. What (if anything) makes it hard for you to receive feedback?

  2. Are you in the habit of asking for feedback?

  3. What can you do to become more comfortable receiving feedback?