All of us have read & heard so much about the skill of giving and receiving feedback, good or bad. Not only in an organisation but also in our day-to-day roles as a family member, a mentor or a part of the society, we all exchange feedback or review things. The feedback about us, by us and around us contribute a lot to the way we perceive and react to the environment around us. So, it’s clear that it has a huge impact on our lives.
But the question is, how much do we actually know about the importance of feedback? Do we go beyond the “rule book” of giving/receiving feedback to become a successful person? The significance of review or feedback is much greater than we think. It can affect our thoughts in unimaginable ways. Besides, a lack of understanding or the importance of constructive criticism can actually bring a lot of complexes in us.
So, what is feedback?
Going by the dictionary meaning of it, it is the process in which the effect or output of an action is ‘returned’ (fed-back) to modify the next action. In simpler words, it is our reaction to an action around us or vice-versa. So, either our actions are impacting someone or an action somewhere is impacting us. Thus, giving/receiving feedback is an ongoing circular process. No one in the world is spared from getting affected by it.
Here, the greater matter of introspection is that if we know all about feedback and its importance in our professional/personal lives, then why don’t we only take it positively? Why don’t we always apply what we have been suggested?
You can expect everyone around you to be humble, generous and positive in their approach in giving you feedback. But that’s the catch! It won’t be genuine. Also, we can’t be depending upon someone else’s behaviour to make us feel good or bad about ourselves.
In order to look at “Feedbacks” in a more pragmatic light all you need is a “Positive Mindset”. As they say “It’s all in the mind”.
Filter out the irrelevant part
At work, you need to use only one ear while receiving feedback. Use a deaf ear while listening to their foul language or their demeaning remarks. They aren’t of any use to you if they don’t promote professional growth. The person in front might have had a bad day and that might be leading him/her to speak to you in this manner. Don’t look at yourself through their eyes. You have your own to do that job for you.
Choose what promotes growth
Keep the other ear open and listen carefully with a light mindset to improve. Try to focus only on the part that implies motivation to perform better and be more productive. Make a note of what’s being told to you about your work and how can you better yourself? The choice of words might be wrong again, but the advice may turn out to be gold for you. Don’t just hush the feedback because you don’t like the way it sounded. Always have a constructive take away. There is always learning hidden in every critical review.
Don’t pass the negativity on!
Lastly and sadly, since we ought to experience negative and non constructive feedback about ourselves, we tend to pass it on the way we receive it. Just because you met a negative person or a critique in your life doesn’t give you the right to be one. If you are in power then lead with example. Let your team learn the right way of giving positive feedback by giving them the same.
In a nutshell, always be open, honest and constructive in your approach towards feedback in life. Be respectful to others around you as you make your point. All it takes is a few positive steps to create a positive workplace.