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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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      Published on September 16, 2020

      12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

      12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

      Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

      Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

      Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

      Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

      Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

      Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

      1. Organization

      When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

      When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

      Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

      To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

      To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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      2. Flexibility

      You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

      Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

      For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

      To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

      To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

      3. Collaboration

      As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

      Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

      To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

      To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

      4. Poise

      Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

      When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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      What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

      To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

      To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

      5. Communication

      Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

      When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

      To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

      To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

      6. Good Computer Hygiene

      Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

      Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

      To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

      To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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      7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

      Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

      Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

      To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

      To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

      8. Respecting Feedback

      In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

      Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

      To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

      To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

      9. Project Management

      Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

      To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

      To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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      10. Staying up to Speed

      Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

      To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

      To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

      11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

      “Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

      To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

      To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

      12. Teamwork

      Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

      Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

      To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

      To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

      Final Thoughts

      Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

      More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

      Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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