Feedback is essential for carrying out daily activities in the professional environment. It can be formal, when employees are evaluated periodically or informal feedback which is expressed directly or indirectly in everyday activities
Constructive feedback plays an important role in increasing your professional or behavioral performance and helps you correct or improve certain aspects that you may not have noticed.
To excel in a field does not happen overnight, and your skills can be improved on a continuous basisto achieve the best results.
You may not feel so comfortable being told that your actions should be improved or corrected, but in order to become the best version of you, it is very important to know how to listen.
Here are some ideas that can help you learn how to receive, accept, and use feedback:
- Don’t take things personally
Constructive criticism is not an insult and does not generally refer to you as a person but rather to the results of your actions. Feedback consists of observations on how you interact with clients / colleagues / superiors in your daily activity at work, but also on how you perform your daily tasks.
Those who give you feedback do so to help you correct certain mistakes and to be better day by day. Be open to receiving criticism and suggestions from the person you interact with, think about your career path and whether that person is right from this point of view. The decision to validate or deny the information received belongs entirely to you. Improving your actions also depends on you.
- Listen actively
In life we tend to focus more on the negative side of the things than the positive one. The same aspect is true regarding feedback too. How many times have you lost yourself after that “but”. “You’ve made great progress so far, but …” When you hear this word, you tend to think about the worst, what you did wrong and the fact that you did not do your job well. If you listen carefully to the following sentences, you will find suggestions for improvements that you can make in your activity.
You can use criticism effectively if you listen attentivelyand remember what you are being told. It is very important to actively hear the feedback, so that when you return to your activity you take into account the suggestions received and improve the way you work.
Try to recap at the end of the conversation the suggestions you received and even ask for reconfirmation to make sure you come out of this experience with a common and clear understanding.
- Ask questions
Receiving and accepting feedback does not mean that you just have to sit and listen to what the person you are talking to has to say. If you feel that you do not understand very well the situation or the subject, you can ask for clarifications. If someone asks you to change something in your way of working, do not hesitate to ask what the reason is and why that solution is more efficient. Ask what the causes are and how to improve those aspects.
Asking questions after receiving criticism shows that you take observations seriously, understand them, and want to use them to your advantage.
- Be grateful
You may find it strange that you should be grateful that someone has highlighted certain mistakes or shortcomings in your work. However, it is important to realize that the person who gave you this feedback, at the same time, offered you constructive criticism to help you be even better at what you do. They did it by allocating time for observation, preparation and discussion, involving the emotional effort to provide constructive feedback and, as stated above,they did it with the desire for you to become better.
Without feedback, we persist in mistakes and risk remaining at the same level. Objective and kindly offered criticism, related to your way of handling certain situations and not related to you personally, deserves a “Thank you!” at the end of the discussion. In the end, you will have the most to gain from this experience.
- Act and track your progress
To show respect for the person who gave you feedback, show them that you care and start working on improving the mentioned issues immediately. Also, share progress with that person, ask for their opinion, show them what you have improved over time, and ask for advice when you think you need it.
You can even set up a meeting for a new feedback session, to see the progress you have made after a while and to see if you still have aspects to improve. Be professional, appreciate the advice received and constantly work to improve yourself. An open and proactive attitude are your allies in this process.
In a healthy work environment, feedback is always present. Its purpose is to help you be better at work, so it is important to learn to receive it, accept it and use it to your advantage.