How Taking Feedback Can Help You Keep Your Job

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There’s going to come a time when your boss saunters over your desk/cubicle/hot dog cart to give you some feedback on your performance. It happens all the time and it’s a big part of middle management’s job specifications. However, there are times when this mostly well intentioned critique is going to come off a bit harsh. What does the boss know about your day to day work? She’s busy in her office all day. How does she know what it’s like in the trenches? As much as this may be a natural reaction to your indignation, bite your tongue at all costs.

Feedback given to you at work is essential to holding onto your job. How? Bosses are ultimately the ones who determine if you keep your job. There may come times when you’re simply “too important” for a company to lose, but these are few and far between. Most people work in a team based job environment where everyone needs to set aside egos and come together for the greater good. Standing out from the crowd and being that all important X-factor can happen from time to time, but, more often than not, you’ll likely find yourself having to play along with the team.

Therefore, taking feedback graciously is key to ingratiating yourself with your employer and looking like a team player in the eyes of your co-workers. Who wants to work side by side with an arrogant blowhard? You don’t want to be that guy who overreacts to a harmless little piece of criticism that, out of context, seems a lot worse than it really is.

So, what’s the best way to take criticism without getting hot under the collar? Simply try and understand what your boss is saying. A lot of the language may be cloaked in politically correct dialogue. The point he or she is trying to make might get lost. However, with feedback, there is always a point. Perhaps you need to turn something in a little bit quicker next time. Maybe you should refrain from taking the responsibilities of another worker. How about you stop eating other people’s lunches? Feedback always has a
purpose.

Nevertheless, the real upside to taking feedback well is that you earn some serious kudos with the boss if you not only listen to his or
her feedback but you actually do something to enact it. Call it a double play if you will but that combo of good communication skills with a healthy dose of deference for authority will go a long way towards making you seem like the desirable commodity that really is too valuable to let go whenever the economy is in the toilet.

Any instances where tempers flared when you were given feedback? Sound off in the comment section and share the fisticuffs.

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