Don’t Miss Beneficial Feedback Because You Perceive it as Criticism

Soft skills, professional development, feedback, constructive criticism Making a commitment to continuous growth requires us to accept and even embrace all of the variables and experiences that are an integral part of any learning opportunity. The commitment to continuous growth means taking on challenging tasks and goals.  After all we are not really growing if the accomplishments are easy. Challenge is often accompanied with mistakes, setbacks or even a “failure experience.”

The mistakes, setbacks and even the “failure experiences” have value if we are willing and able to step away from the disappointment or frustration and focus on the lessons that will get us to our goal.  The valuable lessons are not always so obvious to us because all we can see is how hard we worked or how much the achievement would mean to us.  This is where feedback is so important and helpful.

Feedback helps us to develop the self-awareness that gives us another view of our situation.  Feedback helps us to keep growing and getting better because it tells us what we need to place our focus.

Feedback is also a motivator. It affirms our effort and the progress we have made thus far and empowers us to focus on areas that require correction or development.

Receiving feedback can be very difficult but it is so important.  We need to hear what is working and what is not working. If we don’t listen to and embrace the feedback we may miss a great growth opportunity.

There is feedback and there is also criticism pretending to be feedback.  But we can’t afford to turn a deaf ear and miss something that may be very helpful.  Make the decision to take it all in – listen, reflect, analyze and look at yourself and your situation from a different lens.  There may be a kernel of reality that you can use.  There are always lesson in many forms available to support our growth.  Consider saying “I hadn’t thought about that. I will give that some consideration”   You don’t know if it is useful feedback that supports your self-awareness until you listen.  You have nothing to lose.

Determine what you can use to move forward, to get better and smarter and toss the rest away.  This is about you getting what you need to find out how good you can be.

Feedback – a crucial aspect of the learning process – seek it, receive it and make it an integral part of your learning experience.

Elaine Robbins HarrisThis article was originally posted on by Elaine Robbins Harris. Elaine leads a professional development course with Directions Training called, Innovative Solutions Consulting, Management Development Workshop. If you would like to receive information about this workshop, please let us know more about your training needs:

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