The Purpose of Feedback
As you progress in a new job, you will likely make mistakes, which means that you might receive criticism. You will need to learn how to handle criticism, and the first thing you need to know is that you should not take it personally.
Giving and receiving feedback are skills that need to be learned and practiced. Feedback is important to ensure we are all constantly improving our skills.
The purpose of giving feedback is to improve a situation or a person’s performance, and you won’t accomplish this by being harsh, overly critical or offensive. Before giving feedback, remind yourself why you are doing it.
Benefiting from Constructive Criticism or Feedback
Most supervisors give constructive criticism regularly as their goal is to help their employees grow and improve. Correcting mistakes can mean the difference between success and failure, and sometimes even life or death. You must learn how to take criticism with openness and grace so that you can benefit from it.
Keep these points in mind:
- Anticipate criticism and be aware of the source – As criticism and feedback are a natural part of the learning process, remember that it’s normal to hear that you’ve made a mistake or need to improve something; in a work situation, this is almost always done with the intention of helping you improve in your role.
- Don’t take criticism of your job performance personally – Since the aim of constructive criticism is to support your learning and growth, remind yourself that it isn’t a personal attack and is offered with good intention.
- Look at your work from your employer’s point of view – Try to shift your perspective so you can understand your employer’s goals in offering feedback to you. This process will help you to learn how to benefit from others’ views.
- Don’t get defensive -Listen with patience and keep an open mind. When you look at constructive criticism as an opportunity for growth rather than failure, you’ll feel less offended and reactive.
- Don’t make excuses – Take responsibility for your actions and don’t turn the feedback into a debate.
- Ask for clarification. – If there’s any part of the feedback you’re not clear on, ask questions until you fully understand it.
- State your plan and carry it out – When you’re clear on what needs to be done to improve, share with your employer or supervisor the steps you’ll take to make the change.
- Don’t allow it to slow you down – While criticism can be difficult to take, don’t ruminate on it too long and let it negatively affect your self-esteem.
- Understand your right to disagree with the feedback – Sometimes criticism is shared without a valid reason. If you feel confident that the feedback you’ve received is not warranted, you have the right to disagree and decide not to take it. You don’t need to argue, but you also don’t need to accept it as truth.