Feedback is usually made up of two components: an analysis of what you did right or wrong together with a component of advice as to how to either improve or do things differently the next time.
The harsher the feedback, the harder it is to accept it. Our egos get in the way and shout out that what was said was not true. The softer the feedback, the less valuable it can be for there are always ways that we can improve.
The primary confrontation in feedback is never in what we hear we did right or wrong. The primary confrontation occurs when we have to decide what we will try to do differently to improve.
Sometimes this needs to occur simply through self-analysis when no advice is given. Other times, when advice is given, we need to decide if it fits our skills, beliefs, and demeanor.
I describe this as a confrontation because it is just that – we are confronted with new information about ourselves and now must decide if we will run away from what needs to be done or if we will take small steps in a new direction to test out whether the advice or our own self-analysis can be helpful.
Over the years, the key to much of my improvement has come from understanding who is giving me the feedback. The more experienced and balanced the person is (in my eyes) the quicker I begin to make adjustments without confrontation.
The less experienced and more opinionated the person is without showing me good outcomes, the quicker I walk away from any confrontation to change. In this case, I start to turn up my search in self-analysis as to what I think might help through change and try. Here, I’m not always right so there is some “spinning of my wheels”. But the intent to improve remains present.
Seek feedback willingly. It is like looking in a mirror and it is for you own good.
feedback can balance ourselves and keep us from both extremes and unnecessary dead-ends.
We are not as good as we think we are. We never are. Remember to seek out those with experience and balanced judgment to learn from. Most importantly, never run from the confrontation with ourselves that is necessary to evolve, improve, and grow.