Utilizing Constructive Criticism In The Workplace

Thoughtful feedback is one of the best ways to help people grow personally and professionally in the workplace. And accurate feedback can help you throughout your career development. Think of feedback as a gift, but know that people will only be open to providing it if you’re approachable and make them feel comfortable. Avoid getting defensive with these tips for receiving feedback.


Practice Active Listening

The first step in providing thoughtful feedback is to listen well. Humans often listen only long enough to formulate a response, but we often miss essential points once we tune out. Active listening is the art of fully hearing what a person says, summarizing it to ensure you understand and asking thoughtful questions. This is especially important when hearing feedback you may not want to hear.


Avoid Immediate Judgement

Human nature is hard to avoid. The immediate reaction to criticism is to get defensive. You want to share your side, tell them why it’s not your problem, or devise ways to turn the tables. But to accept constructive criticism means that you’re willing to hear what’s said and consider it. So avoid immediately judging their feedback as unfavorable.


Summarize What You’ve Heard

One part of active listening is summarizing their statements. This is a significant step. When you summarize, you offer your interpretation of what they say, and you may find that what they truly meant wasn’t what you took from their criticism. If you don’t do this, you may go with incorrect assumptions.


Ask Questions or for Examples

The next step is to ask questions or for examples. The truth is, sometimes criticism isn’t constructive. If someone tells you you’re doing something wrong but can’t give you an example of what they’ve seen, you need to dig deeper into the purpose of their critique. But when they do have examples, you can use those as a launch pad for improving your performance.


Talk to Others

You don’t have to make adjustments alone. Once you’ve heard the feedback, take it to your network. Talk to your peers or your boss about what you can do to improve the situation. Other people can offer helpful insight and motivate you toward the end goal.


Follow Up

There is one last step in the process of accepting creative criticism. Most people forget to follow up. This can be part of the process when it’s your management team, but if the feedback comes from a peer or other source, you may not talk to them about it again. After you’ve made changes to improve, speak to the person who provided the criticism. You may gain additional insight or discover a new ally in your career.


Do you want to find a company that provides productive feedback to help you improve your career? Contact Hutco today.