The Challenge of Receiving Feedback
Receiving feedback and advice can be a challenging experience. It can be difficult to hear that there are areas where we need to improve or change, especially if we thought we were doing well. It’s natural to feel defensive or discouraged when someone points out our flaws or shortcomings. However, it’s important to remember that feedback is an essential part of personal and professional growth. Without feedback, we might never know what we need to work on or how we can improve.
Validating Strengths Before Offering Suggestions
As someone who regularly provides feedback to medical students and other healthcare professionals (I work as a standardized patient at UCR and LLU SOM), I’ve learned that the way feedback is delivered can make all the difference. Starting with positive reinforcement and validation can help create a more receptive environment for constructive criticism. When we feel like the person giving us feedback is on our side, we’re more likely to be open to hearing what they have to say. That’s why it’s crucial to validate what someone is doing well before providing constructive feedback. It’s important to acknowledge their strengths and accomplishments first, to show that we recognize and appreciate their efforts. Then, we can offer suggestions for improvement in a way that inspires growth and development, rather than just pointing out faults.
Taking Action: Opportunity for Growth
So, if you’re struggling to receive feedback or advice, try to approach it with an open mind and remember that it’s an opportunity to learn and grow. It’s not a reflection of your worth or abilities, but rather a chance to improve and become even better. And if you’re in a position to give feedback to others, remember to focus on inspiring growth and improvement. Together, we can all strive to be our best selves.