Learning how to give and take feedback is a crucial career skill. Feedback, both good and bad, is how we learn to improve and grow in our skills. While it can often be difficult to hear, feedback can really help you do your job better. Feedback helps you see where you are in your current position. Asking for it regularly shows managers that you care about your effectiveness and are interested in improving yourself. Asking for feedback is also an important stepping stone to better opportunities. Don’t just brush feedback under the rug. Take it seriously and look for ways to implement it into your daily work. Here are a few tips to help you do just that.
1) Don’t Get Personal
Feedback is all about the giver, not about the receiver. It provides a peek into their head, and often speaks more to the difficulties and pain points of the person providing the feedback than your work itself. That can be frustrating, but it’s also a reminder that you should not take feedback personally. Instead, you should give it a chance, try something new out and see if the person was right. The more information you have around a situation, the better prepared you will be to respond appropriately.
2) Be Clear
The best thing you can do in response to a piece of feedback that you don’t want to hear is to dig deeper. Everyone comes into their work experience from a different perspective, and part of being able to work well on a team is to be able to work well with all sorts of people. When you hear a piece of feedback, you should ask questions about why you received that feedback. Ask follow up questions. Request further details. This is especially true when the feedback is negative. Remember that information will empower you to act accordingly to change your situation by asking more questions.
3) Be Constructive
Just focusing on the negative will rarely help you achieve the results you would like. Tell them what they’re doing right, and how they can do more. Don’t avoid big issues, but refrain from using feedback as a chance to complain.
4) Be Consistent
Sometimes, defensiveness is simply the natural response to not hearing much criticism on a regular basis. When some does come your way, it can seem overwhelmingly negative when it likely was meant to be constructive. To lessen the sting of criticism, try requesting it on a more regular basis. With time and practice, you will become more inclined to accepting feedback with grace and incorporating criticism into your project planning to perform at a higher level. The opportunity for growth is incredibly valuable, just remember that the feedback you receive can help you get to that next level.
5) Check in Often
Frequent feedback is what makes for long-term improvement. Small doses of constructive criticism, rather than large-scale overhauls will be much more effective in creating change that matters and that does not harm relationships. With that in mind, you should make sure to check in often and focus on the small, meaningful adjustments that will really make an impact.
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