I tend to request constructive feedback on many different
things knowing there will be times I'll arc up at what I hear or
read. I've requested website reviews for months now and finally
a website critiqued mine. The first lines were about the great
content, author is a great writer (blushÖ) AND then line after
line of feedback...
After the initial nervous breakdown,
banging head on keyboard and brick wall (I suggest you restrain
yourself from doing this - it hurts and leaves funny
indentations in your forehead!) and sheer indignation of how
could 'they' (whoever they are) think that? I calmed down and
started dissecting each piece of information carefully.
Only the other day a very experienced IT professional friend of
mine rang me to say my website had lots of meat but no sizzle.
Well wasnít that great news? Although this was constructive
feedback, it still managed to take the wind out of my sails for
a short while.
Iíve since taken this feedback onboard and
am tossing around a few ideas here and there so I can give my
website that much needed zazazoom itís meant to have!
the past Iíve also requested feedback when job applications have
been unsuccessful so I can learn to do better next time.
Sometimes people will ask for feedback when what they're really
after is approval, especially when we think we're doing a great
job. When they hear what they'd rather not they go out and kick
the cat, dog, or punching bag, whatever is handy, have a few
drinks, or telephone all their friends.
"No one can make
you feel inferior without your consent."
To receive honest, constructive
feedback is much like receiving a gift, whether we think so or
not at the time. The challenge is to receive feedback with an
open mind and learn from it, and disregard our natural instinct
to defend our selves or our actions.
On the other side of
the coin it also takes true courage to give good, constructive
feedback for fear of a negative response or reprisal, even if
the feedback was requested.
Below are 10 straightforward
tips for coping with feedback:
** Work on the attitude of
feedback is fun, enlightening and a great learning tool as
opposed to feedback is scary and to be avoided at all costs.
** Feedback is someone else's opinion however there may be an
element of truth in there even if the size of an atom.
Consider the experience level of the person giving feedback (did
you really ask your partner for feedback?).
** Allow the
other person to complete what they're saying; wait at least 3
seconds before responding as opposed to reacting.
Centre and balance yourself by taking several slow deep breaths
before the feedback discussion takes place.
** Never take
** Employ the attitude that this is a
learning experience, learn what you can from it, even if it
means you've learned how not to give feedback.
totally in the present moment. It's the best place to be for
** Remember the reason you wanted this
** Finally, thank the person for their feedback
(even though privately you may not agree with it). The fact they
gave it to you gives you the option of choosing to act on it,
consider it or simply just ignore it.
constructive feedback neednít be an anxiety filled experience.
Having the attitude that feedback is a gift in disguise may be
what will enable you to move mountains for you in the long term.
Now back to putting the zazazoom into my sizzleless website!
About the Author:
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Michaela Scherr is a Transformational Coach, author of self help
e-books, and publisher of a monthly newsletter called From My
Desk who is totally committed to helping others create positive
and action oriented changes to their lives.