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Part I: How to Handle Receiving Critical... > Helpful Hints on Handling Feedback

Chapter 10. Helpful Hints on Handling Feedback

Here are ten reminders and suggestions on dealing with feedback that you might find helpful.

  1. Seek feedback on projects or assignments before miscommunication occurs and mistakes become a crisis.

  2. Ask others for positive feedback if none has been offered. An example might be “What did you especially like about how I handled the project meeting?”

  3. Keep a ME file with examples of work you are especially proud of, letters of appreciation, and notes of congratulations you receive throughout the years. Review your ME file when you are feeling down and need an encouraging boost because of others’ critical feedback.

  4. Listen carefully to your critic to make sure you understand the critical feedback.

  5. Do not automatically assume your critic is right or wrong. Take time to assess whether or not the feedback is valid before taking action. Ask questions to clarify the feedback or get specific examples of where you were wrong.

  6. Evaluate the source of feedback and whether it was offered constructively. Does the feedback give you action to consider? Is it future oriented? Or is it offered destructively, with words such as always, never, and should? Is it focused on the past?

  7. Do not passively accept critical feedback or become a silent victim. You will appear to have little self-confidence and may lose the respect of others and yourself.

  8. When you have made a mistake, avoid overapologizing or overcompensating. Instead, freely admit your errors rather that trying to cover up. Cover-ups usually come back to haunt you.

  9. Don’t make globally negative assessments about your character or ability based on one mistake, such as “I’m such a jerk!” “I’ll never be any good at this.” Give yourself credit for past victories and accomplishments.

  10. Lower your emotional temperature when dealing with critical feedback. Use positive self-talk such as “I’m OK, I may have made a mistake, but learning from this error will increase my professionalism.”



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