Taking Positive Feedback and Building on It

May 19, 2017

Being complemented on your work or complementing other’s work can be a great feeling: knowing that you’ve done a great job and your fellow workmates appreciate it can do wonders for your confidence at work, which reinforces your ability to turn out even better work. However, you’ll notice that a lot of employees seem to dodge positive feedback by a humble response of something like ‘Oh, it was nothing’. There are a number of reasons why someone will try to deflect praise – poor self-esteem, low motivation, a dislike of flattery, simple force of habit or due to office culture.

However, those that don’t want to acknowledge their own good work are missing an opportunity. Good feedback is invaluable to your growth in your career, and this includes further developing your skills alongside dealing with weaknesses. When someone praises you for your work, ask them why. What do they think you’re consistently good at? This isn’t just ego-boosting, as it helps to establish your own strengths through the words of others. A lot of people aren’t sure what their strengths are, or don’t think they have any.

A strange thing about human psychology is that we’re very good at filtering out positive feedback, but we take the nastiest or sharpest criticism to heart. It seems we only remember the bad things that people have to say about us. Perhaps this is ingrained in human behaviour, or it’s a nasty side effect of the society and culture we’ve built. Either way, it’s an extremely harmful attitude that can affect how others perceive you. Nevertheless, if you get a good bit of positive feedback from someone you don’t get along with because they see more negatives than positives in you, it’s something to appreciate, since they had to overcome their own negativity bias to say it.

Moments of self-reflection and self-criticism are needed, especially if you want a career in a creative industry like writing and producing art or media: we all know the stereotype of the self-deprecating auteur calling their previous work ‘trash’, even if people like it. Nevertheless, it’s import to distinguish between actual criticism and the kind of criticism that drives a sense of futility and lack of achievement. You should never look at your work, regardless of its quality, and think it’s worthless.

Taking the steps necessary to not just accept, but learn from, internalise and gain from positive feedback is what changes a poorly-motived worker into an Employee of the Month. At Soft Intelligence, we’re focused on meaningful and useful employee and customer feedback, driven by our mobile apps. If you’re looking for a customer feedback app or an employee feedback app, Soft Intelligence provides one of the most effective and cheap methods of feedback gathering on the market.

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