Corporate Culture, Jill's Thoughts

Don’t Brush Off Positive Feedback

At the end of 2019, I shared an article from the Harvard business review about their favorite management tips from the year. If you missed that article, I’ll link it here. One of my favorite management tips from the list deals with how we as leaders, employees, or just people in general, deal with and react to positive feedback. The advice is simple. Don’t Brush Off Positive Feedback — Study It.

As we develop our career and look for growth opportunities, there is often an emphasis on how we should handle criticism or negative feedback. We teach and are taught how to take these messages and use them to better ourselves or correct our inadequacies. This is an important thing to learn and practice; we need to understand what our shortcomings are and how to turn those weaknesses into strengths.

But do we ever talk about how to handle positive feedback? I feel like this is an area that is often overlooked by most people and their mentors. Instead of focusing on positive messages, we tend to focus more on our criticism. Perhaps this is because we get more critical feedback than positive? The article notes that because negative feedback is jarring and threatening, that it tends to stick in our brains longer. It’s easier to remember negative feedback and to recall how we felt receiving it because of the stark contrast to how we desire to feel. But is there value in emphasizing learning from positive feedback?

Have you ever been asked the question, “What are your strengths?” This is a question individuals often struggle with during interviews as they either do not like talking about themselves or can’t think of what the right answer should be. In our education and careers, positive feedback serves to teach us about our strengths and growth areas. While we tend to be our own worst critic, each time we receive positive feedback for our work, there is an outside party highlighting what they identify as our wins. They are telling us exactly what we are good at. So listen, save that information, study it, and use it to guide your personal development and build upon your strengths.

As you take the time to study the positive feedback you receive, you will be able to understand your strengths more, which can aid you in your career development. Let’s commit that 2020 will be a year where we both offer more and relish more in positive feedback!! What’s your favorite of the top 10 tips? Leave a comment below.

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