How to Accept Feedback like a champ
Career Advice,  ChampLeaders Boot Camp,  Mental Health in the Workplace

How to Accept Feedback Like A Champ

First Published: August 7, 2019

Feedback is gold 

Oh the times I wish I have received one but did not are far too many to count! 

So, if you get one, consider yourself lucky. Not everyone receives feedback in the workplace and sometimes when they do, it’s too late.  

Embrace feedback and in fact, be open to ANY kind. Good or bad, who cares?  

The important thing is you RECEIVED one. And it’s better than nothing.  

Why I consider getting workplace feedback GOLDEN.  

1. It's a way for you to know how you're doing. 

Don’t you have those times when you start to doubt your work and need just a little bit of validation if you’re on the right track?  

Those times that you want to hear just a little bit of comment about how you’re doing?  

If you do, then this is why workplace feedback is so important.  

Feedback keeps you grounded on how you’re doing. It gives you validation if you’re doing well.

And it also gives you a chance to redeem yourself if you’re not on the right track.  

2. It makes you grow.

If you’ve been hanging out in my blog long enough then you would know how much I looooove learning.  

And the only way to learn to be a better leader and professional is if you get feedback. Feedback is the fuel to learning.  

Learning how to be better starts with the acceptance that whatever the output is, is not good enough.  

And feedback helps you re-evaluate yourself, your work and more importantly, opens you up on how to push forward.  

This is growth.

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And if you’re the type of person who wants to keep getting better at work, then embrace workplace feedback like a champ! 

These 2 reasons make any kind of feedback valuable. So, remember that if you’re getting feedback – bitter or sweet, try to think about these 2 reasons.  

Check out these stats on workplace feedback I found in LinkedIn. No 3 is my favorite. 

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Workplace Feedback Stats

Managers who received feedback on their strengths showed 8.9% greater profitability. 
69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. 
80% of Gen Y said they prefer on-the-spot recognition over formal reviews. 

Now I know that not all feedback is given in the sweetest way.

In fact, some feedback is given so harshly that it could dampen the spirits of an employee. Sometimes, to the point of quitting.  

Now, being berated and bullied is a different thing. This is not feedback. Learn to know the difference.  (Related post: How to Deal with Workplace Bullying )

So, let me show you how to accept feedback – good or bad and still get the most out of the experience.  

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Accepting Great feedback 

If you are being given kudos in any shape or form – email, in person, personal note or even in company event then be gracious about it.  

Here are my Career Tips on how to accept good feedback: 

1. Smile  

Yes, this may seem weird but please show emotion. Show a little bit of happiness and smile. This will not make you any less than the superstar you already are. 

And part of being a good leader is how you take compliments on the work that you do.  

Are you smug about it? Or are you genuinely proud of the outcome? Remember that your team is always learning from your behavior.  

So, just smile.

2. Do not say “It’s nothing!”. 

I absolutely don’t understand when you give feedback to a person for a job well done and they say it’s nothing 

Like really? Nothing?  

You spent hours and dedicated time and effort on something that has great outcome and “it’s nothing”? 

Do not downplay your achievement. Recognize that you’ve done work that matters.  

Saying “it’s nothing” is a dou ble-edged sword. 

 If you say “it’s nothing” then your boss and colleagues might think you didn’t give your best. Or they will think you’re arrogant and don’t know how to take good feedback.  

So, zip it.  

3. Follow up with an email of gratitude 

As a leader, it’s important that you also recognize the people that help you get the kudos. It may be partnership with a colleague or your team working extra hard 

Whatever it is, make sure that you email the folks that gave you the feedback and copy key contributors to the success.  

In a professional setting, very rare that it’s a one-man show. Learn to share the great feedback with people. This will speak volumes on your professionalism and leadership.

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How to Accept Constructive Feedback

Not all feedback is approached equally 

And this is probably the part where you hear that you were not so great. Or that you screwed up.  

Nonetheless, there is a way to accept the feedback like a champ and help you be better at it.  

Here’s some of my career tips in accepting bad feedback: 

1. Acknowledge the feedback  

No matter how strong the feedback was given, acknowledge it. Do not be defensive about it.  

Feedback is precious.

You don’t want to quash it just because you don’t like what you’re hearing. Accept the fact that not everything that you do will be met with the same enthusiasm and fervor every single time.  

Nope, this doesn’t happen.  

There are times that you’ll have to swallow the bitter pill. So, my suggestion is, take it in.  

You don’t need to apologize to acknowledge the feedback. Thank the person for the feedback and don’t offer an explanation if you don’t want to.  

Team Engagement Facts:

"Companies with engaged employees see 233% greater customer loyalty and a 26% greater annual increase in revenue" - Aberdeen

Team Engagement is a MUST to survive in the workplace. 




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2. Be mindful on providing an explanation after a negative feedback.  

The last thing you want to sound like is a whiny manager making excuses for a job not done right 

Stop yourself when you feel like you’re about to sound like you’re making excuses.  

Take the feedback and say that you will investigate (if needed) and follow up afterwards

3. No hard feelings 

Whoever and however the feedback are given, take it professionally and move on.  

Don’t hold a grudge on that colleague or to your boss after providing their feedback.

It’s not personal. And if you tend to take things quite personally, then be mindful of your behavior as you process your feelings.  

Approach negative feedback with openness and that it’s not given to intentionally hurt you.  

Feedback is essential for growth and learning. Take it as such and don’t take it personally. Take it professionally.  

4. Share the feedback with your team or the people involved in the project 

Just as you share the glory, share the opportunities with your team or with people that you worked with on the project.  

The feedback is good for them too so they can evaluate themselves and be better.  

The last thing you want to happen is you get blamed for repeating the same mistakes because you failed to share the learning.  

And lastly, this applies to both receiving good or bad feedback. Probably the most important Career Tip on how to address feedback is …  

5. Evaluate yourself and learn from the feedback 

Feedback is great for learning and it’s important that you reflect on your behavior that lead you to that moment.  

To help you with this, list down highlights, low lights and opportunities.  

Be objective as you right down what the highlights are. Be genuine on what went right and what behaviors have the most impact. 

For the low lights, be honest and accept what did not work well in the project or deliverable. This will help you practice on accepting the outcome without any denial.  

More importantly, be mindful on what you put as opportunities. This should be the lengthy part of the list.

However great you did, there is always something to improve on. 


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There you have it! 

Again, workplace feedback is an important part of our careers and while it’s important to receive it, accepting it the right way can make a whole lot of difference 

Always be grateful when feedback is given.

Good or bad, it will make you a better individual and professional.  

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About Daisy Casio

Daisy Casio is a Passionate Operations Leader with over 16 years of work experience in various leadership roles. She has run diverse teams in multiple locations and has built teams from the ground up. She is the Founder of ChampLeaders Blog dedicated to transforming leaders to Champions. She writes about leadership, management, productivity, career tips, team engagement and many more. 

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