Feedback is a critical element to career success. And while it might sometimes be difficult to hear, feedback will always help you better yourself within your current job. That said, sometimes you might outright disagree with what you hear. There are any number of reasons you might not be on the same page as your co-worker or manager, but remember all feedback is valuable when put to good use. Here is how you can respond the right way, to ensure you are making the most of an important opportunity.
Everyone comes into their work experience from a different perspective, and part of being able to work well on a team is working well with all sorts of people. When you are given feedback, ask questions about why you received that feedback. Request details. Figure out what led to the situation and how you might be able to benefit from the knowledge. Even if the feedback is negative, information is powerful, and you can act accordingly to change your situation by asking more questions.
Don’t Take It Personally
Feedback is all about the giver, not about the receiver. It provides a peek into their head, and often speaks more to the difficulties and pain points of the person providing the feedback than your work. That can be frustrating, but it’s also a reminder you should not take feedback personally. Instead, give it a chance, try something new out and see if the person was right. The more information you have around a situation, the better prepared you will be to respond appropriately.
When All Else Fails, Decline Politely
If you are in a position where you are positive you have nothing to benefit from incorporating the feedback, the only thing left to do is decline politely. The fact of the matter is you are in control of your work, and if you have given it sincere thought and the feedback just isn’t right or something you are willing to try – be honest and tell the giver where you’re coming from. Not every piece of advice will help you improve. Consider the Danish proverb, “If you build according to everyone’s advice, you will end up with a crooked house.”
Above all, avoid turning feedback into a confrontation. Be polite and listen, but know your value as well. You want to hear from different perspectives frequently because it can help you improve and fine-tune your career, but not at the expense of your integrity.
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