Feedback is often perceived as hateful and mean. People automatically feel emotional or defensive when hearing criticism. With an open mind, you can grow professionally and personally with helpful evaluations. Let’s start with distinguishing bitter feedback and how to be better at accepting constructive feedback.

Be Clear

Most of the time feedback tells you more about the person who is giving it than yourself. Don’t listen to critiques about your character or people that poke fun at your life. Accept advice from a trustworthy person with a relevant perspective on the subject. One way to guarantee effective feedback is to be specific and know what type you want. For example, if you ask your boss how to improve your presentation and they tell you “good job” then you won’t be pleased. If you’re asking for appreciation for your work and they start off with “here is how you can fix it…” you’ll feel discouraged. Be clear on what you are looking for at that moment.


Sometimes you are not in the right mindset to receive feedback, and that is totally acceptable. However, when you consistently avoid it, you will miss out on an opportunity to grow and learn. Imagine cooking food for 10 years and your kids could not give you any feedback. How would you know if your cooking is any good? How would you get better? Bitter feedback would be telling someone they are a horrible chef. Effective feedback would be a suggestion to further refine your skills, not completely change your style of cooking.

Incorporate the feedback into your preexisting skill set to see improvement. The first step is to be willing to hear it. Don’t go into a defensive mindset and argue why your work is good. Get out of your head and hear what is said, think about it, then apply it.


As with your finances, take the opportunity to claim a complimentary second opinion that may be offered by financial advisors.  When it comes to money matters, it is always a good idea to understand all the options you may have to design your ideal retirement lifestyle.

Ultimately it’s your choice on how to approach it. Remember the bigger picture: you do not have to incorporate every piece of information you receive. Everyone has their own preferences and opinions, so listen with a grain of salt. Choose to be better, not bitter when receiving effective feedback.

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