Thursday, July 5, 2012

Negative Feedback

[At the request of the original blog where I found the information, I have removed the link to an article on negative feedback.]

The above posts assume nobody's perfect. Not me, not you, not anyone.

There's a lot of virtual ink being spilled on characteristics of the Millennial generation (those with birthdates through about 2005). Some comments are good. Some are defensive. A number are highly critical. Almost all make sweeping generalizations.

Whether it's true or not, one glaring generalization is that Millennials don't take criticism well. You've been protected from the cold, cruel world by a mentality that everybody gets a prize, just for showing up. Okay--maybe not just for showing up; you have to breathe, as well.

If you're a college freshman (not ready for graduate school), how do you get there? If you're an entry-level hire (not ready for the CEO's office), how do you get there?

One way is to fail, reflect on your own shortcomings, devise a plan to improve in areas that led you to fail, and then try again. But that's kind of like trying to rub suntan lotion on your own back. Unless you're double-jointed, you'll probably miss spots... and get burned again. It's time-consuming, disheartening, and hit-or-miss.

A more efficient way is to find others who will give you a 360 view of what's good, and what's not so good. Who will answer truthfully when you ask "Does this make me look fat?" -- and maybe toss in the advice that horizontal stripes are not your best look (before you reach for the umpteenth article of clothing with horizontal stripes).

The first link is targeted mainly to students, about receiving critique from teachers. It has some thoughtful comments and embedded links about the psychology of how to receive negative feedback.

The second link is about using your network, asking trusted sources for preemptive strikes, comments on what you can improve in a resume, job application, appearance and so on.

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