I think it would be safe to say that nobody likes to receive negative feedback. It bruises our ego. It can even cause us to defend ourselves. Really what we should do is take it for what it is … feedback that can help us get better.
I can’t profess to be good in this area because as I progressed through my career I was never very good at accepting negative feedback. I really had a bad attitude towards it, feeling that there was never enough attention given to the “good stuff” and too much attention on weaknesses.
As I have gotten older (I will shy away from the word mature in case anyone reading this knows me) I have learned the value of feedback. Of course I have only been working for more than 30 years … so I guess that makes me a slow learner! (see that’s me giving myself feedback … or maybe it’s just self-deprecation).
We always see ourselves a little differently than those around us, and understanding what “they” think is important. It is input that we can use to modify our behaviour, tweak our operating style or give ourselves a major make-over depending on (a) the feedback and (b) what we want to do with it.
IF, as I used to do, we dismiss the feedback as irrelevant, off the mark or just plain wrong then we miss the opportunity to look at the feedback dispassionately and understand how we can use it.
A minority of people are excellent at listening, internalising and using feedback for their own gain, without letting it upset them. I think my biggest issue was that I took it personally, seeing it as an insult, when really it was my various managers just telling it as they saw it.
If YOU can master the art of taking feedback in a constructive manner (and it doesn’t really matter how it is delivered) then you can use that as a tool to improve. Any means of getting better must be a good thing, because it is you that benefits most!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are? Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge! Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?