3 Reasons you Shouldn’t Fear Feedback
There is nothing to fear but fear itself…among other things. You must excuse my addition to this legendary sentiment, but in reality, fear is an inevitable and tangible part of our lives. We are all afraid of something, whether it be certain spiders (daddy long legs) or certain feelings (pain). While a fear of heights may keep you from accidentally tumbling over a cliff, overcoming our fear of criticism is central to success.
Here are three reasons embracing feedback is integral to your office life, interpretive gifs included:
Growth Opportunities Abound
Whether perfecting your PR pitch or your jump shot (guess which one I’m working on), there is always room for improvement. The blessing is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Life is inherently full of growth opportunities, and the workplace is no different. Those who are willing to not only listen carefully, but also consider and implement critical feedback from their coworkers stand to gain for themselves and their clients. It’s a win-win at the expense of temporary discomfort.
You “Build Character” (Yes, I said it)
“Character.” We’ve all heard it. Your grandparents walked to school uphill both ways and endured the Great Depression. Overcoming these trials, it is said, develops something called character.
While more often an overplayed trope than authentic advice, character in this sense means nothing more than mental resilience. In a world where most jobs require more than the archetypical 9-5 commitment, preparing for performance over the long run is a reality that must be accounted for.
Whether it’s keeping your calm in a stressful situation, picking yourself up after failure or staying motivated throughout a long week, mental resilience can make all the difference in your career.
Covert Leadership Lessons
Being on the receiving end of criticism also brings another gift; the opportunity for observation. As one gains responsibility, she is increasingly put in position to give rather than receive feedback.
It quickly becomes apparent that this is no easy task, particularly given the nearly universally-expressed aversion to criticism. Luckily we all have experience on the icy receiving end and can recognize great tactics versus those not so… palatable.
Feedback is more than a process – in fact, when done well, it is more akin to an artform – not to mention an indispensable skill for successful management. In this sense, consider being criticized as learning experience inception.
As the new year unfolds, it is a natural time to reflect and evaluate. Whether you are reconsidering your personal performance or your communications efforts this year, it is imperative to not fear feedback, for the consequences may be harsher than a few strongly-worded emails.