Feedback is a gift but only if we can hear it. Receiving positive feedback is easy and motivating. It’s a great way to learn your strengths, understand where you are effective, and a resource to use during performance reviews. I actually have a folder in my inbox called “Be Awesome Today!” where I save positive feedback emails. I go back to those emails if I need a little pick me up or if I’m prepping for a performance review.
Negative feedback can be difficult to really hear but also gives us great insight into how we can grow.
While receiving feedback, it’s important to stay in the moment and keep listening. As much as we want to defend ourselves and share our POV for situations where we may not have acted our best, it’s important to listen to what people are saying. Perspective is reality, especially at work.
Listen and take in all the negative feedback. Take notes and then walk away. Think about it for a couple days. Then make an action plan for going forward. Feel free to involve your manager as well. After you have processed the feedback, you can talk to your manager about the negative feedback. And if you feel there was a specific situation where you acted at your best but are getting negative feedback, walk your manager through that situation and ask advice for how you could have done things differently. It’s amazing how when we give ourselves space and time, we can respond better.
Finally, always remember your end game! What’s your ultimate goal: better relationships at work, a promotion, or shaking a reputation you don’t want? Then what actions can you take that support your ultimate goal? Control your controllables (how you react at the office, how you react to feedback) and forget about what you can’t (other co-workers focusing on you and not them).