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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 July 16, 2019

      7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

      7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

      Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

      In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

      There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

      1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

      The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

      Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

      Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

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      2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

      When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

      The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

      It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

      By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

      3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

      At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

      Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

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      Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

      You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

      Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

      4. Don’t Take Sides

      In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

      In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

      By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

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      5. Don’t Get Personal

      In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

      People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

      To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

      Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

      6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

      The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

      Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

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      Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

      7. Think Win-Win

      As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

      In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

      Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

      Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

      People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

      Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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