Have you ever received feedback from clients on your business or your personal brand that made you feel bad?
How about from your friends and family?
As we move into the holiday season, we’ll be connecting and reconnecting with the relationships that mean the most to us.
As we do that, the likelihood to receive feedback is pretty high.
As business owners and humans, one important skill to hone is the ability to receive feedback well, even if it is unwelcome, unfair and delivered in an unpleasant way.
What if instead of retaliating we made it a practice to receive feedback as golden nuggets and criticism as data points that can help improve both our business and life?
The first step in doing that is understanding the three types of feedback you could get. Let me explain further
When I started Citrus and clients critiqued my work, even with a slight tone or with attitude, I would immediately shut down.
Over the years, I had no choice but to get really good at receiving feedback because my business and personal life depended on it.
So instead of withering in pain, I started taking criticism with courage and got clarity about myself and insight on how to improve my business.
When I got feedback from annoyed clients that emails were bouncing back because the design files we sent were too big, I implemented Basecamp, a project collaboration tool that allows you access to your files 24 hours a day. We now use Invision to share design files online.
When I received feedback that the branding styles that we presented were off, I started giving brand strategy workshops to educate and collaborate.
Next time around, clients understood how the designs we presented fit within their brand.
I recently read Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well.
One of the first lessons about receiving feedback is to know there are three types of feedback!
It helps to have clarity on which one you are getting in a particular situation.
Three Kinds of Feedback
- Appreciation – When your boss says she’s grateful you’re on her team, she’s expressing appreciation. Not only does this convey “thanks,” but it shows that she sees you and knows how hard you have been working. While appreciation and acknowledgement might seem to be the fluffiest of the types of feedback, without it, good coaching can’t happen because the receiver is often listening for a compliment.
- Coaching – Coaching accelerates our learning. It tells us where to focus our time and energy. It aims to help us learn, grow, or change. However, even when people on both sides of the coaching relationship – the giver and the receiver – are well meaning, coaching can be very complicated.
- Evaluation – Evaluation is used to rank, assess, or rate you. It’s what tells you where you stand. Anything from your client reviews to your high school report card or the time you clocked in your marathon serves as evaluation.
Evaluations compare you to others or to a standard, and there may be important implications of this – such as whether you get a year-end bonus or your clients sign up for another annual retainer.
Evaluation can leave us feeling judged, and yet, when we don’t receive evaluation, we end up trying to use coaching or appreciation to try to figure out where we stand.
What it comes down to is you need to know what type of feedback you want and what type you’re receiving.
When you pull back and see the situation unfolding it provides more clarity on why you may like or not like the feedback your getting.
Imagine you ask your client for feedback and they give you a full blown evaluation when all you want led was appreciation on what you’ve been doing right so you can put it on your website.
You see how confusing it can get when you don’t have clarity on what you want?
Remember feedback is a gift! You just need to know what kind you’re looking for!
If you want to learn more on how you take criticism with courage I highly recommend you read the book!