Feedback is a two-way process. However, many people often focus on developing skills in providing feedback but forget that knowing how to receive feedback is just an important as knowing how to provide it. When it comes to professional development and fast tracking your career, knowing how to receive feedback can help you get where you want to go much faster.

Even under the best circumstances, receiving criticism about your work is difficult. However, here are some tips you can use to handle the feedback more gracefully and use it to your advantage.

  • Avoid the urge to become defensive. Remember that providing feedback can be just as difficult as receiving it. If you are known for being defensive, you are less likely to receive the feedback necessary to improve your own performance.
  • Listen carefully and summarize what your feedback provider is telling you. By doing so, your feedback provider will know you understand what is being said and it will provide opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings.
  • If you are unclear about any of the feedback, ask for clarification and examples.
  • If you feel yourself becoming angry or emotional, which is understandable particularly when if you are not receiving constructive criticism, take a few moments along with a few deep breaths to gain your composure.
  • You will not always agree with the feedback provided. In such cases, be sure to let your feedback provider finish speaking instead of interjecting to defend yourself. If your emotions are in check, respond to the feedback in a respectful manner. Otherwise, I suggest re-visiting the discussion after you have taken some additional time to put your emotions aside.

Above all, remember that, although it is difficult to listen to constructive feedback, it is essential for continuous learning and improvement.