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March 10, 2019

Accept Feedback

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In every professional setting there is something important to note. You likely have someone who influences the way that you do your work, and someone whose work you can influence. As for any team, it is important to get multiple opinions, perspectives, and sets of eyes on a project to ensure it is done well. Often times, that oversight can be very critical and makes us question what the other person thinks of us. This only happens when we choose to see it that way, which is within our control.

The first and most important factor in accepting feedback is to manage emotion. It is human nature to be resistant to differing opinions, and we often defend ourselves to maintain our comfort zone and status quo. This response is often driven by emotion and can distract us from the intent of the communication, which is improvement.

First, when presented with feedback, don’t view it as a opposing opinion. Merely view it as an opinion. Treating the feedback as a data point, not a personal attack, helps us dissociate from the negativity in the feedback and take the actionable components as good insight. Then, to be sure that next steps aren’t emotionally charged, circle back on the project after some time has passed to approach the challenge, and all of the solutions to it, in a less emotional and more objective state.

Similarly, when feedback is positive, don’t let it occlude your mind from other possibilities. We have a tendency to grab onto the opinions that align with our own impressions, creating a stronger contrast with the different opinion. View all feedback, criticism, and praise as an independent opinion that will be evaluated equally when the right time comes.

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