Get more from your performance review
When it comes to taking feedback, a writer I know told me a story about his favorite professor, a story I like to keep in mind. The class had just begun a semester that would involve intense peer review of each other’s work, and the professor asked the students, “Who here is good at taking criticism?” Of course, every hand went up because we know we’re supposed to answer that question with a “yes.” The professor said as much, adding, “We all say we take criticism well. But in our culture, what that usually means is that we smile, nod, disagree with the criticism and wait until later to complain about it to a friend.”
Then he went on to say something I think is rather profound. “Mostly, you’ll never know how people react to your work. They’ll just keep silent. When someone takes the time to provide criticism, you need to not just accept it, but cherish it. More than that, you need to find ways to seek it out.”
Seek out Criticism
We’ve all been burned by unfair criticism, of course. We fear that and focus on it. And then many of us tend to shy away from it. But if we want to improve our performance, we need to get past that fear, cherish criticism and seek it out.
In this episode of “Aim Higher,” my panel and I discuss some very specific ways that you can do just that. In the previous episode, we talked about how to give a good review, and this is the flip side. And just as for giving feedback, there are practical, meaningful steps you can take to be better at receiving feedback.
Focus on the Real Goal
Remember: the goal isn’t to get in and out with as little effort, drama, and discomfort as possible. The goal is to improve your work, your project, your situation. The goals for any piece of feedback need to be YOUR GOALS—which is why my #1 rule for getting the most out of feedback is “take ownership.” I hope you’ll give a listen to hear rules two-through-seven.
Image credit: Amy Hirschi