I profess to being an absolute feedback junkie. Positive feedback tells me that what I’m already doing, I should keep doing. Negative tells me I need to take a step back, and evaluate whether alterations need to be made. The more constructive it is, the better. So, if this is what I believe, if this is what I know will help me improve, then why is negative feedback so hard to take?
All of this came to rise earlier this week, when a friend of mine read this blog. He was the second person I told to check it out, off-handedly. Little did I expect him to check right away, then proceed with a list of all the reasons why nobody cares. It could have been an enormous bulleted list. It was a full frontal assault, and no sugar coating it at all. If you’d seen me in a bathing suit, then you’d realize I like my sugar about 5 pounds too much. It took me a moment to step back and take the advice, and decide what I would use and what I would discard.
So, right off the bat, before I get into the real messy thick bit of it, I am developing a way to cope with a whole whack of feedback.
View weaknesses as opportunities. By making that subtle shift in thinking, a problem is no longer a problem; it is now positive. Because I am now aware that a change needs to be made, I can make it, and reap the benefits of newfound knowledge.
Take an emotional step back, and objectively evaluate. By looking at the problem from an outsiders perspective, I can be more effective in understanding what needs to be done differently. If I let myself get caught up in being sensitive, then I will only be defensive and gain nothing from the insight.
Consider the source. How does their viewpoint play into it? My friend told me no one wants to hear a blog on a writer starting out, and that I should write about how to pick up women. However, he’s a businessman and his aim is to sell, to make money. My aim is to motivate myself and hopefully make some connections in an online writing community. Plus, no one wants to hear me talk about how to pick up women – I haven’t got much more to offer on that topic, other than maybe don’t tell her that nobody cares about her blog. Alternatively, maybe the source is an editor, which makes their insight from the other side of the fence very worthy.
Am I a diva, a temperamental artiste? Maybe a little but when it comes to self improvement, I let that get-better guru knock the prima donna princess flat.
Any ideas on how to cope with feedback, and use it to your benefit?