We all know that constructive criticism is good for us, but that doesn’t always mean it’s easy to accept. Even when the feedback is accurate, being told your work needs improvement can be tough to take in. Remember that receiving feedback on your work can help you improve your skills and your work.
Here are some tips on how to receive constructive feedback gracefully and effectively:
Try not to take it personally
When someone is giving feedback on your work, do your best not to get offended and take it personally. The feedback you receive on your work is not judgment aimed at you as a person. Separate yourself from your work and remember you are getting feedback because you are capable of improving. The person giving you feedback usually isn’t trying to insult you, but is probably trying to give you helpful pointers to do better next time.
Be a good listener and ask questions
It’s important to make sure you fully understand the feedback you are given so you can learn and grow from it. Make sure to pause and let the other person explain their feedback fully, without jumping in and getting defensive. Ask thoughtful questions throughout the conversation and it will show the person giving you feedback that you are absorbing all of the information fully. Take notes so you don’t forget important advice to apply later.
Say “thank you”
Giving feedback can be time-consuming for the person who is reviewing your work. They have to take time out of their schedule to examine what you turn in and then set aside more time to go over it with you. Express gratitude and thank them for giving you the constructive criticism that can really help you to improve.
Schedule a follow-up meeting
Before you part ways, get a follow-up meeting in the books with the feedback-giver, to go over your progress. Make a goal to implement at least some of the critiques by the next meeting. Having a meeting date will give you something to work toward.
If you don’t agree with the criticism, that’s okay! Don’t be afraid to explain why you don’t agree with the feedback being given, but be respectful in how you explain your point of view and keep a level tone of voice.
Even though it can be easy to take feedback personally, remember the benefits of receiving feedback. Use this as a chance to improve your work, grow your skill set and even improve relationships with your coworkers.