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Gracefully Accepting Feedback a Key Employment Skill
With the long-term trend of protecting employees' individual self esteem added to an overriding concern over expensive employee lawsuits, accountability is more a buzzword than a way of life at most companies.
This is a state of mind that has existed since the 1960s, so the average employee has never received real quality negative feedback -- the kind of feedback that might help startle him or her out of career-dashing behavior and toward a more lucrative and successful work life.
Smart employers realize that people are their only sustainable competitive advantage. Companies hiring this year will be looking for people who are highly capable in their fields of expertise and who energize the other people with whom they work. This will hold true for traditional employees as well as independent contractors who will continue to make up a larger and larger part of the workforce.
Don't wait for this new world of employment, prepare yourself now to get the feedback from others that will help you develop into the powerful person you can be. First, begin to change the way you feel about receiving feedback. Listen to the messages you get from those close to you: your spouse, children, close friends, other family members. Write them down and consider them as food for thought. Begin to analyze common pieces of feedback objectively and develop ideas about what you might do if you wanted to change their perceptions.
A key factor to remember about all feedback: it is one opinion coming from another individual's unique perspective. It is up to you to consider it thoughtfully, compare it to other feedback you have received and do something positive with it. It is impossible for us to see ourselves as others see us, but very important that we don't allow these blind spots to jeopardize wonderful opportunities.
Here's a system for taking in feedback for maximum benefit:
You are ready to receive feedback when you:
Things you can do now to get more feedback at work:
As you get to know yourself better, feedback will become less painful. You learn how to put it into a larger perspective and how to allow it to help you achieve your dreams.
About The Author
Jan B. King is the former President & CEO of Merritt Publishing, a top 50 woman-owned and run business in Los Angeles and the author of Business Plans to Game Plans: A Practical System for Turning Strategies into Action (John Wiley & Sons, 2004). She has helped hundreds of businesses with her book and her ebooks, The Do-It-Yourself Business Plan Workbook, and The Do-It-Yourself Game Plan Workbook. See www.janbking.com for more information.
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