Constructive feedback involves giving both positive and negative aspects of something. Feedback helps in making necessary adjustments that will help in enhancing ones effectiveness. It is expected that if you look at feedback as constructive it should make you better i.e. more effective.
When the feedback is viewed as criticism, we tend to be defensive and deny its legitimacy. It can also lead to questioning the motive the person giving the feedback which may lead to a negative outcome like resentment rather than enhancement.
From my personal experience, it is good to be humble in receiving feedback especially when it is coming from a more experienced person. After all, no matter how good you think you are other people’s ideas would be a bonus to yours – there’s really nothing to loose.
I got a feedback that has been of tremendous help to my thesis. However, my first reaction to the feedback wasn’t positive. I moaned for hours to the poor kids who had no clue about what I was doing. I was defensive because I felt the feedback was a criticism.
I got over my initial feelings and sat down to analyse the feedback in relation to what I had written. I decided to ‘hear’ what the feedback said by pasting the feedback alongside my writing. For some aspects I felt I could have successfully defended the validity of my ideas if only I had the opportunity. I smiled at the very positive ones and gave myself a pat on the back for a job well done. I was drawn to a line where it was suggested that I change a keyword. I decided to change “influence” to “support” as suggested and that was the magic word!! That suggestion turned my work around for good. If I had ignored the feedback I couldn’t have made as much progress as I have.
There is a saying that, ” you cannot buy experience”, I couldn’t have bought the experience of the provider of the feedback.