Keys to Managing Feedback Gracefully

Feedback is an essential part of any job or task. It’s how you know what you’re doing excellently and where you can improve, but receiving feedback isn’t always pleasant. Learning how to manage feedback properly, however, can help your developmental and career growth. Here are the keys to managing feedback gracefully.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask

Asking directly for feedback can help soften the blow on the areas you need to improve on. Based on what you ask, you can also receive feedback on any aspect of the job you want. This can help you identify improvement areas before they become problem areas.

By asking, you’re also showing that you want to improve your skills. That kind of initiative can pay off when you’re looking for a raise or promotion down the road. Finally, asking often can help you get critical feedback in smaller chunks, making it more manageable.

Find the Critic

Your friendlier bosses are more likely to give you positive feedback. While that can help you identify your strengths, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for growth. In addition to asking those you’re closer with for feedback, ask the harsher boss or the one that’s more critical. This helps you round out your strengths and weaknesses, giving you the best path forward for career growth.

Actively Listen and Ask Questions

It’s always in your best interest to listen closely and carefully when receiving feedback. When the critique comes in, it’s easy to get defensive or angry. When you become defensive, however, you’re not likely to get thorough feedback from the same person in the future.

That doesn’t mean you should take any abuse, though. If the person giving feedback is crossing a line, it’s in your best interest to stay calm and hire a workplace harassment attorney after the conversation has ended. Don’t hesitate to walk away if things become too physical.

Provided the conversation goes smoothly, ask some questions afterward. Make sure to have them clarify anything you don’t fully understand and ask them what they would like to see if you do when parts of your feedback were negative.

Don’t Take it Personally

While your feedback is about you, it’s more about your behavior and performance. It can feel personal, but remember that any critique is just a list of things you can do differently and better while on the clock. This can help you keep things in perspective.

If you are angered or upset by what someone said, manage those emotions in a positive way. Don’t hop online to share an angry rant and don’t gossip about it with your coworkers. Try lifting weights or even screaming into a pillow when you get home if you have to. Just make sure you hold it together, thanking the person for their candor, while receiving your feedback no matter how harsh it might sound.

Take Action and Circle Back

Put that feedback to use as soon as possible. Start working on your areas of improvement immediately to show you heard and understood what is expected of you. Once you apply some of the feedback, circle back to the person and see what they think. This can strengthen your work relationships and shows that you’re ready to take action.