Hello SOTGC community,
It’s that time of the year again, where midyear conversations are being held and feedback forms are being gathered. If you are anything like me, then you also have those initial jitters of “oh dear … what will he/she say?” and, “How can I not make this mistake again?” For me, receiving personal feedback or criticism was something I had to learn how to process. We can tell ourselves that receiving feedback is just another person’s perspective, but the truth is we put too much personal emphasize on it and risk seeing the bigger picture.
What I personally struggled with was understanding the feedback I was getting and rationalizing that it was not a personal attack on my personality. Even when somebody offered me 20 compliments, I tended to only remember or hear the one that was negative. I also immediately felt the need to explain myself, which in turn made me become defensive without even realizing it. In some cases, not only did I fail to learn from the feedback, but also some people stopped giving me feedback because it was pointless. I couldn’t find the good in it. Why are we so hard on ourselves? Is it because we all strive to be perfect in every aspect? And perfect according to whom? Who are we really competing with?
If we stop competing with others, and start competing with ourselves, we will be able to see that we can grow out of any situation. Let’s try an experiment and go into a midyear conversation with an open mind, be less sensitive, and really make it about another data point. Just maybe then we will be able to see that people want you to succeed. If somebody is taking the time to offer up their feedback, that means you were on their mind and they were hoping to give you constructive criticism. If we can all be less sensitive about these conversations and try to see how we can learn from every situation that presents itself, then, I think, we will embrace feedback instead of being discouraged by it.
Pay no mind to the fear of failure; instead, take chances, take ownership, and have fun being you and not the person the world wants you to be. We can all always improve and learn from one another so let’s try to give feedback an opportunity.
One action I took was to not wait to receive feedback or until my manager asked others, but, instead, to be proactive about receiving it. That way, it made others feel as if I was open and approachable, while I got ahead of the game by feeling I was an active receiver.
Now that I have shared with you my personal struggle and how I overcame it, I want to hear your tips on how to deal with feedback or criticism.