1. Feedback and criticism are not the same. I suggest all feedback which is data from a process for the purpose of learning. Leave criticism at home where it works (it doesn’t work there either). Unsolicited criticism creates fear and defensiveness which prevents learning.

  2. I really like the idea of the loving critic. Too often, we receive “feedback” or “advice” from people that is anything but constructive. People sometimes give you this type of input just to try to bring you down or make themselves feel superior. The trick is to obtain genuine advice and feedback from people who have your best interests at heart, really know you and aren’t “frenemies” — but at the same time aren’t complete sycophants or cheerleaders either. It is also good to get many types of feedback from many different sources, critically evaluate the advice, examine people’s motives and then do what’s best for you in the end. Sometimes you just have to ignore the advice people give you — especially when you have received contradictory feedback from elsewhere. For example, for several years I listened to a couple of people who told me that my traditional HR career is done after developing products and solutions for the HR market for over a decade. However, several other people told me the opposite, and I remain really interested in the world of work in some capacity. In the end, I decided that learning and development is where I would ultimately like to be — still leveraging my HR background, but also making use of my training experience and my own curiosity and commitment to lifelong learning.

  3. I like the idea to use a gestation period as well as being specific about the question and the behaviour you want the feedback on. Great article!

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