Blog :

How to Handle Constructive Feedback

Aug 28, 2023
How to Handle Constructive Feedback

Feedback is crucial for growth - whether that’s in our work life or our personal life. However, the truth is, no one really likes criticism (which in essence, is what feedback can often be perceived as). 

Applying the feedback you receive from others, whether it’s a professor, supervisor, colleague, or peer, can help you to be more successful and also meet the expectations you’ve set for yourself (and those that others have set for you). 

If you’re someone who naturally struggles to take on feedback, don’t worry. We’ve put together a 3-step, short guide to enable you to harness your feedback and use it as a positive influence on your professional (or personal) life. 

#1 Recognise how you respond to feedback first

“Talk to any group of leaders or managers, and you’ll hear the same thing.  For the most part, we dread feedback, and for good reason – our experience is that feedback has been used as a hammer, a club, a spear, or other weapons of destruction. So, naturally, we respond with defensiveness (fight) or avoidance (flight).” - Decision-Wise

Fight or flight (or freeze) are three common responses we can have in our nervous systems when we feel threatened. Not all feedback will incite this response, but for the majority of us, we are either fight-or-flight individuals. Recognising your emotional response to feedback is the first step to understanding how your brain operates and how you should respond effectively. 

If you’re someone who automatically feels either of these responses, there are a couple of things that you can do to regulate yourself: 

Accept and reconvene later: Instead of immediately giving your opinion in the moment, instead, accept the feedback and see how you feel in a few hours. If you still feel unhappy with the feedback 24 hours later, you can then raise it for clarification at a later date. Chances are, once you’ve been able to absorb the feedback you’ll be able to see the other person’s perspective. 

Request feedback in a private setting in the future: Especially if we receive feedback in a group environment, it can lead us to feel attacked even more so, as though we’re being singled out purposefully. 

Especially if you’ve worked in a toxic environment, these can be tactics used by leaders to instil fear of public embarrassment/humiliation. To reduce this, requesting feedback in private can be a much more effective way to manage your “fight or flight” response.

#2 Take note of what the feedback is and try to make sense of it 

Regardless of what your response is, it’s important to listen to the feedback given and make a note of what it is. Chances are, it’s there to help you improve and grow as an individual. 

Let’s say that the feedback is on your communication - this can feel very personal and often hard to take on. But, writing down what has been said and how you can harness that to your advantage is crucial.

#3 Implement it

Feedback is there for you to implement and make a difference. If you listen but refuse to implement it - the chances are you will continue to get that feedback time and time again. We know it’s difficult to do, but implementing feedback (even when you don’t feel great about the feedback given) is ultimately there to help you improve. 

Your managers and leaders are there to help you, and you have to take what they say at face value, even if you’ve not had the best experiences in the past.

Read on
May 3, 2023

Blog :

Social Burnout is Just as Dangerous as Work Burnout

When we think of burnout, it’s usually associated with how our work and professional life is...
Mar 14, 2023

Blog :

Female Empowerment Through Organisations

As this month is women’s history month, we wanted to highlight some crucial organisations that...

Content Hub.

Our community immersed in Technology & Design. Passionate about new innovations, industry culture and diversifying leadership.

Together we produce a range of media and live events. Our doors are open and new members are welcome to join us!

Go to Host