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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 February 11, 2021

      10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

      10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

      Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

      You have to work hard to develop the right skills

      If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

      1. Make your presentation short and sweet

      With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

      JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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      2. Open up with a good ice breaker

      At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

      • Joking
      • Tugging on their heart strings
      • Dropping a bombastic statement
      • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
      • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

      You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

      3. Keep things simple and to the point

      Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

      4. Use a healthy dose of humor

      Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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      It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

      5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

      Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

      6. Practice your delivery

      Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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      7. Move around and use your hands

      Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

      8. Engage the audience by making them relate

      Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

      9. Use funny images in your slides

      Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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      10. End on a more serious note

      When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

      As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

      Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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