Receiving constructive feedback, or criticism is hard. I know my automatic response is to become defensive and sometimes even a bit angry. There are even times where I attack the person giving me the criticism. (Who me? Never.) It is something that I am working on as I want to improve in my career and grow as a person.
It is easier to seek praise. Ask enough people around you and you are bound to find someone who will tell you want you want to hear; “That’s great!” or “I love it!” But in the end that is not helping you. You are not stretching yourself.
Instead of asking “Do you like this?” Ask “Can you think of anyway to make this better?” Or “How can I improve?”
You may not agree with the advice that you are given. That’s OK. You don’t have to agree with what everyone tells you. What is important is that you reflect on it. Don’t react to the criticism right away. Stop and take time to digest what you are being told.
Remember the goal of criticism. It is to improve your work, your skills, and your relationships. It may be as difficult for the person giving you the criticism, as it is to receive it, so listen with understanding. Repeat what you have heard to make sure that you heard it correctly. If you are unclear about anything ask questions.
After you receive the criticism, say ‘Thank you.’ It will be hard to do. Saying ‘Thank you’ does not mean you agree with the other person’s assessment but it does show that you appreciate the time that the other person took to give it to you.
You need to incorporate criticism into your life to ensure that you become a better person.