Critical feedback, whether you are receiving it or giving it, is important for self-improvement. But how can you give feedback in an effective way, or receive feedback that you don't necessarily believe in? Here are some great tips for receiving criticism while making sure your own comments get heard.
When listening to criticism:
- Anticipate negative feedback, before it's given: As you work on your project--whether it's a report, research, or a final product--make sure you get all the information needed to complete the project, and ask as many questions as possible on what the final product should be or look like. This way, everyone stays on the same page, and there aren't any unexpected expectations.
- Listen without interruption: When you receive feedback, try to listen thoroughly, without any questions or defenses that interrupt the conversation. Instead, take notes for you to return back to specific points. By listening first, you can maintain a professional attitude, really understand the concerns of the other person, and ensure a positive experience.
- Remember the end result is a win-win for all: Sometimes, we get caught up in trying to get what we want, and can get trapped in a negative spiral of feedback, counter-arguments, and more.
When giving criticism:
- Start and end on good notes: If you want a coworker or your team to take your comments to heart, make sure that you are providing positive highlights in with your critiques. It's best to start with compliments on things you do like, then move towards comments on things that can be changed or fixed. At the end of your meeting or comments, recap your thoughts with positive comments again.
- Give explanations: Sometimes, your suggestions need more clarity to convince the person listening. Make sure your notes and suggestions aren't ambiguous, which could frustrate others. Instead, be clear in your expectations.
- Yield to great suggestions: Let's face it: we can be wrong, or our ideas might not be the best. If someone is responding to your feedback with sound suggestions, thoughtfully consider them. Your project will be finished on a better note, and you can build a better relationship with your team, contractor, or coworker this way.
You can learn more about different ways to make feedback more valuable over at Design Instruct. For more tips and tricks for this and similar needs, visit the Self-Improvement or Career Advice section of our blog.
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