Maximize Your Ability to Learn from Feedback

In order to become better at an accelerated pace, you’ll want to learn to relish feedback. Though you are the navigator of your journey to higher skills, having a map and getting directions are very useful. Especially from people who been where you’re going; it increases the trust factor. Remember: you don’t know what you don’t know. That is, you may not realize there are things you need to learn, or that you’re not working on things in the right order. People watching you have a different perspective than you do when watching yourself.  You may not be doing something the way you think you are.

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things” Winston Churchill.

Below are listed 10 ways you can improve your ability to benefit from the feedback and criticism you’ll inevitably hear. When you’ve mastered these, it’ll be time to encourage others to provide more, but until you can make good use of it, why bother.

Attitude is Everything

Assume Positive Intent  Don’t get in a huff about an offer of advice or information. Don’t question the competence or the motives of the speaker. Instead, try a calmer, more receptive approach to feedback. Listen attentively; focus on what is actually said. Is it correct? Could it have value? Can you test it? Why does the person believe it applies to you?

Stay positive  Even criticism meant to sting is often true, to some degree. Learn to focus on the free education

Let yourself be wrong  Stay calm – don’t get defensive – don’t take it personally. Take a deep breath or count to 10 before responding

Be open to learning  Some people need to know you’re open to learning if you want them to share. There’s a lot of knowledge out there, and many willing to share. They won’t share with you, though, if you aren’t receptive.

Use your thick skin to avoid pain, not to deflect substance Be honest with yourself, you don’t know everything, right? So why should the fact that you’re ignorant of one particular thing be a surprise? And if it isn’t a surprise, why is it painful?

Stay Humble  Stay grounded, keep your ego in check. Learning to enjoy and appreciate but quickly forget praise, because it doesn’t help you get better, can help you appreciate criticism because it can help you get better

It’s the Message, not the Messenger  Valuable info is valuable info irrespective of who it comes from.

Listen to the Content, not the Tone  Sometimes the person giving you feedback doesn’t have the best of motives. Perhaps they just want to feel good by proving that they knew something you didn’t. So what! if they do know something you don’t, make sure you do know it before the conversation ends.

Ask questions  Strive to learn more by understanding exactly and all of what is meant. Sometimes the most valuable piece of info they have isn’t in the 1st comment

Uncover blind spots – break bad habits  Use the feedback to uncover defects/weaknesses you didn’t know you had. You can fix/improve them now, rejoice.

See feedback/criticism as a challenge to become better  If the person didn’t care they wouldn’t risk hurting your feelings to tell you.

Outside Motivation  Think of it as the swift kick in the butt you need to progress, to rise to the next level, to break out of your rut. It’s like a cold shower or a reset button.



Be Curious – Dig deeper  Ask questions, explore their ideas until you get all they have to offer. Take feedback in the way it was intended and accept their feedback seriously. Show that you appreciate their effort and you may get to hear about an even more valuable nugget.

Say Thanks, and mean it  And later on, after you’ve made an improvement, thank them again.

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing” – Aristotle

Stay positive  Even criticism meant to sting is often true, to some degree. Learn to focus on the free education

Be prepared for the pain  Criticism hurts our feelings and using all the above doesn’t take away the burn. But you can learn to mitigate/moderate it. Gain from the experience, and appreciate the courage of the provider, who thought enough of you to bother.

Learn to separate the wheat from the chaff, but not until you’ve given it a fair hearing. If it’s chaff, don’t feel bad about

Take Action Afterward

You have to act on what you learn, or it doesn’t do you any good. Reading books, watching videos and/or taking lessons don’t do much good unless you practice them enough to make them a part of your game.

Make a Note of What You Learned  Add it to your list of things you learned from your matches. You keep a list, right?

Make Time to Practice  Take a few minutes to work on one area of weakness each time you come to the table.

discarding it.

Be the better person.

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