Receiving genuine improvement feedback and taking the right actions based on that are critical for your performance, growth, and career progression. However, sometimes it can be challenging to absorb such feedback.
There could be many reasons why sometimes it is difficult to receive and absorb improvement feedback. For example, the timing and the language used by the feedback giver may not be appropriate; the communication might appear like a personal attack rather than addressing a specific behaviour or action; the feedback might be vague and based on some assumptions; and the feedback giver might not be curious to understand and listen about the underlying facts and data from you.
There are a few strategies to absorb improvement feedback better. Firstly, we need to accept the fact that we can’t always change external factors, people’s personalities, and perceptions. Not everyone can give improvement feedback with kindness and empathy. In general, feedback givers can be divided into two broad categories: outcome-focused and relationship-focused. Usually, improvement feedback from outcome-focused people may appear blunt and straightforward. However, that does not mean that they don’t care about your relationship with them. They might deeply care about your performance and want you to succeed.
Secondly, while receiving improvement feedback, let’s detach your emotion for a moment, and create some space before you react. In this space, try to understand the context of the feedback and connect this to your responsibilities and the expectations from your role. You might see new possibilities and opportunities.
Finally, let’s not take any unpleasant experience of receiving improvement feedback personally. Let this stay in the context of work. Don’t let this impact your life outside of work and define who you are.