Accepting feedback about your job performance is one of the best tools in your career toolbox
But it’s not always easy to do.
Sure, it’s great if you’re being praised, but who wants negative feedback?
Turns out that successful people do. By learning to accept feedback—whether good or bad—you advance much farther, much faster.
I’m going to share my four secrets to accepting feedback like a pro so you can kill it at your career.
Secret #1: Feedback is Normal
When you have a performance review coming up, mentally prepare for it. Even this simple step will put you in the right frame of mind for receiving and accepting feedback, whether it’s about your strengths or your weaknesses.
Instead of feeling caught off guard, you’ll start mentally preparing for feedback. Ask yourself, “What attitude do I want to have as I go into my review? How do I want to relate to this situation?”
You might choose to think of feedback as people picking on you and singling you out. This is not a productive way to relate to it.
On the other hand, you can choose to think of feedback as a perfectly normal part of any job, one that’s designed to help each individual grow and tap into their potential.
Secret #2: You’re Better Off Knowing Your Knowledge Gaps
Show up to work every day and give your best effort. Put your best work on the table so that when you get some feedback on how to improve, you are really clear with your contribution to this job.
If you’re doing your best and get feedback that you need to improve, then you know there’s a knowledge gap. Your attitude and effort are on the money, but there’s a missing piece in what you know.
Maybe there’s a new skill you need, or you’re not clear on the expectations. Feedback like this helps you learn. My motto is if you’re not learning something every day, then you’re not growing.
Secret #3: Accepting Feedback Doesn’t Mean Loving It
Not all feedback is delivered in the best possible way. That’s OK. Even if the feedback is delivered in a poor way, you still can handle it with elegance and grace. You have a choice on how you want to react in that moment.
My best advice is to listen, digest it there or later, and then decide how you want to proceed. Because even when feedback is delivered in a poor way, there may be truth in the content. Be humble and take your ego out of the equation. Remember Secret #2 and ask what you can learn from this feedback.
Even in criticism, there’s often a point in there that is true, that you can actually learn from.
Secret #4: Accepting Feedback is a Measure of Maturity
Some people deal with negative feedback better than others. But you’re doing yourself a HUGE dis-service if you disconnect or react to criticism instead of accepting feedback. You’ll miss out on the opportunity to learn from the situation, but you’ll also miss the chance to show up in a mature way.
Maturity is a big part of your career. If feedback is making you feel uncomfortable, there’s something to explore there. A negative emotion gives the opportunity to learn how to process that emotion.
This is my most important tip to your success. When you operate from Emotional Adulthood, you do less reacting and more accepting of the emotions you’re feeling, whether they are feelings of being hurt or feelings of curiosity or feelings of gratitude.
Owning your emotions means you don’t blame others or try to deny the situation. Once you do that, you’ll be able to start accepting feedback like a pro.
And honestly, you need to do this! Feedback is a normal and necessary part of every job, at least once a year if not more often. There’s no getting around it. Accepting feedback is a critical career skill, so start building it now.
My Own Experience Accepting Feedback
We all have to learn how to take feedback. You may not be able to change the feedback, but you can change how you react to it.
You can actually turn criticism into something more productive for you.
When I worked in corporate America, I got feedback every 6 months.
In the beginning of my career, I would react to this feedback with all kinds of negative emotions and attitude. I was telling myself this story that I was being criticized, and I really didn’t like it.
And that carried over to my performance. I would end up not really improving or passing along the feedback to my team, so things would stay the same.
It was only later in my career that I learned how to deal with this situation. I learned to think about feedback in a completely different, more productive way.
By learning to choose my thoughts and reactions, I learned how to bounce back from negative feedback, and to learn from it so I could excel in my career.
I just wish I’d known these secrets earlier in my career.
That’s why I wanted to share these secrets with you. Hopefully, now you can start accepting feedback like a pro so you can grow to your full potential faster.
Feel like you need a coach in your corner to do that? That’s what I’m here for.
I help driven professionals tap their full potential through innovative thought pattern hacks. If you’re ready to stop feeling criticized and start feeling energized, let’s talk. Sign up for a free Strategy Session to get started.