Feedback as a Gift

How do you accept constructive feedback?   Is accepting critiques difficult for you?
It doesn’t have to be.  Think of it as receiving a gift because those who venture to constructively criticize us are performing a remarkable act of friendship.  There are benefits of constructive criticism and techniques for handling it in a productive and professional way. Here are a few tips for accepting and seeking critiques.  

Expect it – Life is full opportunities to grow, if someone points out a mistakes and explains how to improve, hey, that is a gift.
“Your attitude determines your altitude.” –Zig Ziglar

Seek it – Ask your boss, your employees, and your significant other what you’re doing right as well as what your doing wrong.  Ask the question, how can I can improve?
“Constructive criticism is not only to be expected, but sought.” –Margaret Chase Smith

Be open to it – Critiques or constructive criticism is not personal.
There’s no need to get defensive. Relax—it’s all good.
“Take things seriously, but not personally.” –Bill Clinton

Listen to it – Really listen; actively listen by paying attention to what is being said.
Don’t think ahead about how to respond.  Seek first to understand before being understood.
“Criticism my not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” –Winston Churchill

Change it – Make the change, perform and apply the recommended action as soon as possible. See if it works better for you.
“I take compliments and I take constructive criticism. I use it all to make me play better.” –Timothy F. Cahill

Practice and Prove it – Assess yourself and/or check with a trusted partner or colleague. Did I make the improvement correctly?
“…if you’re not trying to make something better, then, as far as I can tell, you are just in the way.” –Ani Difranco

Analyze it – Use the feedback experience as an opportunity to reflect on your progress and your performance.
Am I prepared for the meeting?
Did I practice the presentation?
Am I asking the right questions?
Am I clear about my goals and what it takes to reach them?
The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” –Norman Vincent Peale

Integrate it – Think about ways you apply the feedback and solution to other situations.
Focus on how what you learned relates to your work with clients, family relationships.  How will this feedback help me be more successful, not only at work, but also in a social environments?
“In order to excel, …you must be prepared to work hard and be willing to accept constructive criticism.” –Willie Mays

Appreciate it – Always say, “thank you.”
Constructive feedback is a gift that will help you grow and be the best you can be.

About Kate Mulcahy

Kate Mulcahy is principal of Brand New Discovery Inc., a consultant and coach who provides a strategic and creative experience for business leaders, entrepreneurs and forward-thinking individuals who want to fully optimize or refocus their professional lives. Applying her extensive leadership, marketing and communications experience, Mulcahy leads you closer to a higher level of thinking by encouraging you to prioritize your goals and objectives for what you plan to achieve both personally and professionally. Her imaginative, optimistic, and engaging approach leads to reinventing, rediscovering and defining what’s possible for yourself and your personal brand.
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