TalentAdore’s unique system allows recruiters to give 100% personalised feedback and status updates to all candidates. The end-to-end recruiting system enables recruiters to streamline their hiring process in one place, creating job advertisements and managing the company’s talent pipeline.

Our system gave me the idea of writing an article that talks about how to take feedback. I’ve always envied people who can graciously accept constructive criticism. In the heat of the moment, many of us react with defensiveness and anger. But the truth is, we are acting immature and foolish. We know there’s value in constructive criticism, and being able to handle it calmly and professionally will only help us maintain relationships and be more successful in everything we do.

Here are some steps for you to follow so that you are able to take feedback with grace and dignity.

1) Do not react immediately

People tend to react once they hear something about themselves. Try not to react at all. It takes just one second of control to decide that you should stay calm. Although this first step might sound very simple, that split second is all it takes for you to decide whether you want to take feedback with grace or if you will get all defensive.

2) Justify for yourself

Listen very carefully to what the other party is sharing. You know yourself best. Justify for yourself whether what is being said is a fact or just an opinion. Most of the time, facts will be incorporated with opinions based on how the other party is expressing themselves. Bear in mind this factor and it will allow you to take feedback a lot easier.

Next, is the feedback accurate? Just because a person gives you feedback, it doesn’t mean their feedback is right. They see your actions but interpret them through their own perceptual screen and life experiences. Follow your sixth sense to find out how impartial the other party is. Reflect on your actions and decide whether the feedback given is worthwhile information and whether you should learn from it.

3) Do not get defensive

The key is to listen to the other person without planning our reply. Simply nodding until the other person has completely finished will give your counterpart the opportunity to say everything they intended. If you are genuinely curious and would like to ask something, ask questions instead of making statements.

Asking questions helps eliminate the appearance of defensiveness and keeps us from immediately jumping in to justify our actions. Asking for examples may help you gain useful insights that are buried in the unconstructive message. The focus on your questions is to make sure you understand the feedback.

Remember that few people are skilled at presenting criticism in a way that makes the recipient feel comfortable, so never get too defensive immediately.

4) Benefit of Receiving Feedback

Never forget the benefit of receiving feedback. Constructive feedback can help you to improve your skills, work projects, and relationships, and help you meet the expectations that your manager and others have of you.

It can be challenging to receive criticism from someone that you don’t fully respect, but remember, accurate and constructive feedback comes even from flawed sources.

5) Say Thank You

Always say thank you. This might be particularly hard for some of you, but you should always say thank you. Expressing your appreciation doesn’t have to mean you’re agreeing with the assessment, but it does show that you’re acknowledging the effort the other party made to evaluate you and the fact that they shared their thoughts.

6) Reflect

Summarize and reflect on what you hear. Your feedback provider will appreciate that you are really hearing what they are saying. Rather than using the little voice in your brain to argue, deny, or formulate your response, focus on making sure that you understand the point of view you are receiving. You are also determining the validity of what you are really hearing.

Check with others to determine the reliability of the feedback. If only one person believes it about you, it may be just them, not you. This is a major step as you always have the choice about whether to accept feedback and do something about it – or not.

Decide what you will do with the feedback. Are you going to ignore it because you think it’s irrelevant? If the feedback is accurate, how are you going to improve yourself?

Remember, only you have the right and the ability to decide what to do with the feedback. Thoughtful feedback helps you grow both personally and professionally. It’s a gift that people who care about your personal and professional success can provide.