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8 Ways To Receive Feedback And Turn Them Into Your Strengths

8 Ways To Receive Feedback And Turn Them Into Your Strengths

Criticism is an important tool to help you grow. It can outline your problems and help you become a better person. Of course, sometimes the feedback isn’t coming from a good place. Take it from a blogger (that’d be me) who have had people track him down on Twitter to tell him about a particularly shaky article he wrote, criticism can be tough to take sometimes. Here are some awesome ways to take it like a champ.

1. Stop!

When you first receive a criticism you may have a range of emotions. You may think to lash out and be aggressive, defend your point of view, or even retort with negative criticisms of the person giving you criticisms. You shouldn’t do this because it can only be harmful. You should stop and let that first wave of emotion pass. If you react badly to receiving criticism, it can negatively affect you in so many different ways. Let it go and calm down. It’s not worth destroying your business (or even personal) relationships.

2. Listen to what is being said and not how it’s said

Sometimes people don’t express themselves well but that doesn’t mean their underlying point is invalid. Yes, that’s about 75 percent of a Big Bang Theory quote. People can be jerks sometimes or they can come off as mean spirited. However, you should listen to what they’re saying and not how they’re saying it. There’s a reason they’re angry at you and there’s a reason they’re confronting you about something. Find out what that reason is because chances are that if they’re taking the time to tell you about it that it’s probably something you ought to know.

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3. Ask questions about your feedback

receiving feedback

    Sometimes it’s not enough that someone tells you that you’re doing it wrong. You need to know why! Ask them questions about their feedback so you can gain a more complete understanding of what it is you did that was wrong and why. That can help you create a more complete idea of how to improve based on the criticism. Never be afraid to ask questions!

    4. Embrace the embarrassment

    Getting called out is almost universally embarrassing. No matter how tactful the person is at calling you out, it doesn’t change the fact that you made a mistake. The only way to get over that feeling is to embrace it. Understand that being messing up and being embarrassed about it is something that happens in life and it’s something that everyone goes through. Enjoy the feeling because it means you’re about to get better at something. Everyone messes up and everyone feels embarrassed afterward. You might as well learn to enjoy yourself and use the experience to make yourself better. The thicker your skin is, the better!

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    5. Attempt to make the improvements

    Even if you don’t always agree with the criticism, you should try to make the improvement. You never know, it could actually help you improve. If it doesn’t, you always have the satisfaction of delivering some criticism about someone else’s criticism. When you attempt to make the improvement, you’re showing that you’re willing to try new things even if you’re uncomfortable with the change. That means you’re willing to grow and that’s a good character trait to have.

    6. Go out and get even more criticism

    receiving feedback

      Chances are that if someone goes out of their way to give you some feedback about something then you’re going to find other people who have some feedback as well. When you get criticism, you should find others and ask them to give you some honest feedback. Different people give feedback in different ways and if the first way didn’t click with you, perhaps another perspective will. It’s about self-improvement here folks so there’s never enough ways to try to seek it out.

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      7. Look at the big picture

      This is honestly one of the hardest things for people to do. We as humans live within our little bubbles. Our bubbles are filled with our friends, family, and work. However, there is a big, wide world outside of our bubble filled with people who live in their own bubbles. When receiving criticism, it’s important to keep things in perspective. How is your performance affecting their bubble? Is what you’re doing negatively affecting other people? The point of all human interaction is to work with others to provide a positive experience for everyone. If you’re messing something up, it’s making someone else miserable. Imagine how you would feel if someone were messing up and it was making you miserable? You would want them to knock it off, right? Thus, when receiving feedback, understand that you’re probably making someone’s life difficult and that’s not fair to them.

      8. Thank people for their feedback

      When someone gives you criticism -be it good or bad- it means that they care on some level. Like I said back in the first paragraph, I’ve had people seek me out personally on Twitter to tell me that an article I wrote contained wrong or bad information. They didn’t have to do that. I can’t always explain why they did it to begin with. All I know is that on some level, they cared enough to seek me out and tell me. That’s more effort than I probably deserve most of the time. It’s much the same with you. People don’t have to criticize you. They can let you keep doing something wrong until you’re fired or until they break up with you (platonic or otherwise) but they didn’t. They cared enough to tell you and you should show some gratitude.

       

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      Criticism is so essential to personal development. Even from a young age your parents were correcting your behavior all the time. You’d hear a lot of people say that our experiences sum up who we are. I respectfully disagree because I think it’s how we handle our experiences that sum up who we are. That means starting with the next bit of criticism, you can change who you are.

      Featured photo credit: Seat42F via seat42f.com

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      Joseph Hindy

      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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      Last Updated on March 25, 2020

      How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

      How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

      Taking your work to the next level means setting and keeping career goals. A career goal is a targeted objective that explains what you want your ultimate profession to be.

      Defining career goals is a critical step to achieving success. You need to know where you’re going in order to get there. Knowing what your career goals are isn’t just important for you–it’s important for potential employers too. The relationship between an employer and an employee works best when your goals for the future and their goals align. Saying, “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll do anything,” makes you seem indecisive, and opens you up to taking on ill-fitting tasks that won’t lead you to your dream life.

      Career goal templates’ one-size-fits-all approach won’t consider your unique goals and experiences. They won’t help you stand out, and they may not reflect your full potential.

      In this article, I’ll help you to define your career goals with SMART goal framework, and will provide you with a list of examples goals for work and career.

      How to Define Your Career Goal with SMART

      Instead of relying on a generalized framework to explain your vision, use a tried-and-true goal-setting model. SMART is an acronym for “Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic with Timelines.”[1] The SMART framework demystifies goals by breaking them into smaller steps.

      Helpful hints when setting SMART career goals:

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      • Start with short-term goals first. Work on your short-term goals, and then progress the long-term interests.[2] Short-term goals are those things which take 1-3 years to complete. Long-term goals take 3-5 years to do. As you succeed in your short-term goals, that success should feed into accomplishing your long-term goals.
      • Be specific, but don’t overdo it. You need to define your career goals, but if you make them too specific, then they become unattainable. Instead of saying, “I want to be the next CEO of Apple, where I’ll create a billion-dollar product,” try something like, “My goal is to be the CEO of a successful company.”
      • Get clear on how you’re going to reach your goals. You should be able to explain the actions you’ll take to advance your career. If you can’t explain the steps, then you need to break your goal down into more manageable chunks.
      • Don’t be self-centered. Your work should not only help you advance, but it should also support the goals of your employer. If your goals differ too much, then it might be a sign that the job you’ve taken isn’t a good fit.

      If you want to learn more about setting SMART Goals, watch the video below to learn how you can set SMART career goals.

      After you’re clear on how to set SMART goals, you can use this framework to tackle other aspects of your work. For instance, you might set SMART goals to improve your performance review, look for a new job, or shift your focus to a different career.

      We’ll cover examples of ways to use SMART goals to meet short-term career goals in the next section.

      Why You Need an Individual Development Plan

      Setting goals is one part of the larger formula for success. You may know what you want to do, but you also have to figure out what skills you have, what you lack, and where your greatest strengths and weaknesses are.

      One of the best ways to understand your capabilities is by using the Science Careers Individual Development Plan skills assessment. It’s free, and all you need to do is register an account and take a few assessments.

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      These assessments will help you determine if your career goals are realistic. You’ll come away with a better understanding of your unique talents and skill-sets. You may decide to change some of your career goals or alter your timeline based on what you learn.

      40 Examples of Goals for Work & Career

      All this talk of goal-setting and self-assessment may sound great in theory, but perhaps you need some inspiration to figure out what your goals should be.

      For Changing a Job

      1. Attend more networking events and make new contacts.
      2. Achieve a promotion to __________ position.
      3. Get a raise.
      4. Plan and take a vacation this year.
      5. Agree to take on new responsibilities.
      6. Develop meaningful relationships with your coworkers and clients.
      7. Ask for feedback on a regular basis.
      8. Learn how to say, “No,” when you are asked to take on too much.
      9. Delegate tasks that you no longer need to be responsible for.
      10. Strive to be in a leadership role in __ number of years.

      For Switching Career Path

      1. Pick up and learn a new skill.
      2. Find a mentor.
      3. Become a volunteer in the field that interests you.
      4. Commit to getting training or going back to school.
      5. Read the most recent books related to your field.
      6. Decide whether you are happy with your work-life balance and make changes if necessary. [3]
      7. Plan what steps you need to take to change careers.[4]
      8. Compile a list of people who could be character references or submit recommendations.
      9. Commit to making __ number of new contacts in the field this year.
      10. Create a financial plan.

      For Getting a Promotion

      1. Reduce business expenses by a certain percentage.
      2. Stop micromanaging your team members.
      3. Become a mentor.
      4. Brainstorm ways that you could improve your productivity and efficiency at work
      5. Seek a new training opportunity to address a weakness.[5]
      6. Find a way to organize your work space.[6]
      7. Seek feedback from a boss or trusted coworker every week/ month/ quarter.
      8. Become a better communicator.
      9. Find new ways to be a team player.
      10. Learn how to reduce work hours without compromising productivity.

      For Acing a Job Interview

      1. Identify personal boundaries at work and know what you should do to make your day more productive and manageable.
      2. Identify steps to create a professional image for yourself.
      3. Go after the career of your dreams to find work that does not feel like a job.
      4. Look for a place to pursue your interest and apply your knowledge and skills.
      5. Find a new way to collaborate with experts in your field.
      6. Identify opportunities to observe others working in the career you want.
      7. Become more creative and break out of your comfort zone.
      8. Ask to be trained more relevant skills for your work.
      9. Ask for opportunities to explore the field and widen your horizon
      10. Set your eye on a specific award at work and go for it.

      Career Goal Setting FAQs

      I’m sure you still have some questions about setting your own career goals, so here I’m listing out the most commonly asked questions about career goals.

      1. What if I’m not sure what I want my career to be?

      If you’re uncertain, be honest about it. Let the employer know as much as you know about what you want to do. Express your willingness to use your strengths to contribute to the company. When you take this approach, back up your claim with some examples.

      If you’re not even sure where to begin with your career, check out this guide:

      How to Find Your Ideal Career Path Without Wasting Time on Jobs Not Suitable for You

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      2. Is it okay to lie about my career goals?

      Lying to potential employers is bound to end in disaster. In the interview, a lie can make you look foolish because you won’t know how to answer follow up questions.

      Even if you think your career goal may not precisely align with the employer’s expectations for a long-term hire, be open and honest. There’s probably more common ground than they realize, and it’s up to you to bridge any gaps in expectations.

      Being honest and explaining these connections shows your employer that you’ve put a lot of thought into this application. You aren’t just telling them what they want to hear.

      3. Is it better to have an ambitious goal, or should I play it safe?

      You should have a goal that challenges you, but SMART goals are always reasonable. If you put forth a goal that is way beyond your capabilities, you will seem naive. Making your goals too easy shows a lack of motivation.

      Employers want new hires who are able to self-reflect and are willing to take on challenges.

      4. Can I have several career goals?

      It’s best to have one clearly-defined career goal and stick with it. (Of course, you can still have goals in other areas of your life.) Having a single career goal shows that you’re capable of focusing, and it shows that you like to accomplish what you set out to do.

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      On the other hand, you might have multiple related career goals. This could mean that you have short-term goals that dovetail into your ultimate long-term career goal. You might also have several smaller goals that feed into a single purpose.

      For example, if you want to become a lawyer, you might become a paralegal and attend law school at the same time. If you want to be a school administrator, you might have initial goals of being a classroom teacher and studying education policy. In both cases, these temporary jobs and the extra education help you reach your ultimate goal.

      Summary

      You’ll have to devote some time to setting career goals, but you’ll be so much more successful with some direction. Remember to:

      • Set SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, and Realistic with Timelines. When you set goals with these things in mind, you are likely to achieve the outcomes you want.
      • Have short-term and long-term goals. Short-term career goals can be completed in 1-3 years, while long-term goals will take 3-5 years to finish. Your short-term goals should set you up to accomplish your long-term goals.
      • Assess your capabilities by coming up with an Individual Development Plan. Knowing how to set goals won’t help you if you don’t know yourself. Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are by taking some self-assessments.
      • Choose goals that are appropriate to your ultimate aims. Your career goals should be relevant to one another. If they aren’t, then you may need to narrow your focus. Your goals should match the type of job that you want and the quality of life that you want to lead.
      • Be clear about your goals with potential employers. Always be honest with potential employers about what you want to do with your life. If your goals differ from the company’s objectives, find a way bridge the gap between what you want for yourself and what your employer expects.

      By doing goal-setting work now, you’ll be able to make conscious choices on your career path. You can always adjust your plan if things change for you, but the key is to give yourself a road map for success.

      More Tips About Setting Work Goals

      Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

      Reference

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