Have you ever found people complaining about others in a crowded mall? Have you noticed how no one blames or categorizes themselves as part of the crowd? I got to believe everyone cumulatively forms the crowd and must also be the target other’s complaints.
I am asked a lot of times “why do we need to take feedback from others?” and “how do we talk to people about accepting criticism gracefully?” It reminds me a lot about people in the crowd – they can see it clearly that they too are a part of it, but it takes a lot of time to see it in themselves.
Self-realization does not come easy.
Why does this happen? Maybe people do not like to hear things that they don’t want to hear. They choose to stay away from negative feedback, to protect their feelings and keep their ego intact.
But then, why do we always have to presume that the feedback will be unlikable? They can be constructive too, right?
What is feedback?
Feedback is a tool for realization and development. You don’t need to internalize it. Treat it as a judgment of your work quality and not a personal attack.
Come to think of it, anything that you do or that’s out in the universe is subjected to a reaction.
For example, a customer’s feedback is his/her reaction to a company’s certain product or service. Similarly, an employee’s performance evaluation is the manager’s reaction to his/her capabilities at work.
Why do we need to take feedback? 5 Reasons
It is common sense that everyone – whether an individual, business, company, group or organization can benefit from feedback. What you receive back from the universe can be used to make better-informed decisions.
Here are five reasons why feedback is so important and why you shouldn’t be dodging them.
1. Feedback is always there.
No, they are not just in the form of an employee survey, training evaluation or performance appraisal. In actuality, wherever we go, whatever we do, we are always surrounded by feedback. Every time we speak to a person, we are communicating feedback. And practically, it is impossible not to receive feedback.
2. Feedback can motivate.
Asking for feedback can actually motivate you to become better human beings. You will feel valued, appreciated, and get better at making life decisions. Be it from clients, vendors, suppliers, employees, employers, kids, parents, friends or any random person embrace whatever comes in whichever form.
3. Feedback promotes continued learning
Invest your time in learning about how others feel to be with you. Do people like to keep you around? How vibes do you put out? Continued feedback is the secret to building a better self and improving relations.
4. Feedback can boost performance
Do not mistake feedback for criticism. Even the negative ones are actually constructive and can foster better decisions. Your task is to churn out the best ones that can boost performance in the process.
5. Feedback should be listened to – effectively
Be it via a feedback survey or is done verbally, the person offering the feedback should know that he/she is being understood and whatever they say is providing some value.
If you are conducting a survey, explain to your respondents why their feedback is important and how it will be used. Receivers receiving such feedback can be a huge deal-breaker.
Now that you know it is a good idea to take feedback, how about implementing it?
How to put feedback into action
- Request: Most people do not like offering feedback unless asked for. And even if they do, they will give it away voluntarily only when there is something negative to discuss about. Your job is to make it a standard practice to ask for feedback with whomsoever you interact.
- Listen: Listen and act upon your feedback. There is no point seeking reviews if you do not consider working on it. You may be anxious or even defensive. Take a moment and suspend your first reaction. You need to process over what you have just heard before reacting to it.
- Get curious (NOT mad): Human beings love to solve problems. When you are curious about your feedback, anything negative about yourself will start to feel like a problem to solve. Sentiments like “Ah! I didn’t realize that” or “Now I understand you correctly” can help.
- Filter: Yes, you need to respect the opinion of the person offering the feedback, but then at the same, you need to weigh the value of their opinions too. Filter the ones that come from experienced and knowledge sources and feel free to ignore the rest.
- Analyze: Whenever you receive positive feedback, after the momentary celebration, look for ways to improve even more. If it is negative, work on what can be done to turn the table. But then, keep in mind to ignore the feedback that is destructive and has no value.
- Improve: Sometimes a different perspective can be surprisingly helpful. There is nothing wrong in identifying your vulnerable spots. It will expose you to more information and help you attain tranquility.
- Give: It is a two-way street. Offer useful feedback to others as well. Make sure it is truthful and if your feedback is unfavorable, know how to present it in a constructive manner with helpful suggestions for improvement.
To sum up
Receiving constructive criticism in good light can be very difficult at first, especially when you see it as someone else criticizing your work or your personality in general. Once you overcome this initial fear, you will have a long way to go.
When you are open to feedback, you come off as an effective communicator and a hard worker. Here is a quick takeaway:
- Set a goal for yourself
- Ask the right questions
- Evaluate your feedback
- Develop a winning strategy
- Achieve your goals
Hope these help!