“Who are you to tell me what to do? I’m an adult. I know what I’m doing” Many of us feel this way when we receive feedback. However, being open to feedback is crucial for personal and professional growth.
I remember attending a mobile game development convention during college and giving out my business cards. The cards were unfocused, listing all the things I could do instead of one clear title. A woman at the convention gave me feedback, explaining how having multiple titles on a business card can give the impression of being a jack of all trades, but master of none. My initial reaction was defensiveness, but I soon realized that her advice was invaluable.
- Don’t interrupt and listen: When receiving feedback, it’s important to listen without interrupting. Let the person finish before responding. Take notes if necessary, and make sure you understand what they are saying before responding.
- Don’t make excuses, ask questions: Instead of making excuses, ask questions to clarify and better understand the feedback. This shows that you are open to learning and growing.
- Take the parts that apply to you: Not all feedback will be applicable or relevant to you. Instead of dismissing it entirely, take the parts that apply and use them to improve.
- Mind your body language: Non-verbal communication is just as important as verbal communication. Pay attention to your body language and make sure it is positive and engaged, rather than closed off or defensive.
- Thank them: Even if you don’t agree with the feedback or find it helpful, it’s important to thank the person for taking the time to give it. This shows that you value their input and respect their opinion.
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