Accepting Feedback with a Smile

Do you graciously accept feedback at work, especially when it is negative?

25 Nov 2021
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Feedback on your work can provide insights on your performance and can be a valuable tool in career progression.

Every one of us likes to believe that we have the right technical and functional skills for our jobs, and tend to evaluate our own performance in terms of deadlines successfully met, projects duly completed etc. But a more objective look at our work and workplace behaviour is provided by those we work with in terms of feedback. However, a feedback is only as effective as the openness with which it is accepted by the receiver. Accepting appreciation for work comes easily to most, but it is how one accepts negative feedback that outlines the scope to learn and grow in oneโ€™s job.

Here are some pointers on accepting feedback at work in positive light:

Ladder for your own growth

Feedback is an important meter to gauge your performance and progress, especially if you are new in an organisation and in process of learning new techniques and methods.


The important thing to realise is to that a feedback is all about you โ€“ positive or negative, it is how you approach a feedback on yourself that will determine its usefulness. By being open to it builds a stage for frank discussion about how work is faring and also helps establish trust โ€“ yours in your seniors as you realise the value of their words, and your seniorsโ€™ trust in you as they see someone with the drive to learn and add value to the organisation. Receptiveness can lead to newer and exciting opportunities at work and gives you a chance to grow out of traditional work boundaries by which you earlier thought you were limited.


Listen carefully to what your manager or senior has to say about you to you. As the recipient of a feedback session, you might get to hear some things positive, some negative, and some that you might be completely unaware of. Use this session to delve deeper by seeking further clarification into what is being conveyed and what expectations are held from you. For example, if your manager conveys a need for more proactive approach from your side, you can probably discuss with him/her steps that can cater towards that requirement.

Reflect on the inputs

Once the meeting is over, it is time to ponder over the discussion points. Develop your own insight into what was discussed with you. Analyse what you agree with, what you donโ€™t, and decide on the areas you are keen to work on, i.e. those that fall within your personal career development plan.

Following up with action

Once you are clear about the expectations your manager holds from you and have outlined the areas you are set to work on, it is time to put plans into action. Bringing in changes in old work habits might require daily diligence and could be challenging at the onset. Check your progress routinely with your supervisor and let future feedback sessions serve as your progress chart.

Donโ€™t take it personally

Being receptive and ready to bring in changes in your work is one part of the game, it is equally important that you donโ€™t take criticism to heart. Recognize the fact that the objective of a feedback session is achieving optimum performance, and a more efficient team environment.

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