Why is it so hard to accept constructive feedback? I pose this question to students, teachers, administrators, and human beings alike. But, most importantly, I ask myself this question.
How do you transform to a better version of yourself? I think non-biased feedback from others is critical to personal growth. Many times this kind of feedback is teeth gnashing, feet-stomping, “did you have to be that honest?”kind of feedback.
I had never really received this kind of honest feedback until marriage. I think humans spend much of their lives getting their self-esteem built up with compliments. After seeing my own transformation, I think there is an important balance between praise and criticism to become transformative…
I married a man who prides himself on sharing his “honest opinion.” The affect of this constructive criticism on me has been transforming and especially noticeable in my painting. When I show Trent, my husband, a painting I am working on, not only does he tell me what’s great, he points out areas of “growth.” At first, this was extremely painful! Now, I wait patiently for his honesty. I have learned outside feedback helps me modify my perspective. This insight helps me clarify and correct.
Another benefit to constructive criticism is thoughtful decision-making. Now, that I am more accustomed to getting honest feedback, I have learned to find and use my voice. There are times I get “feedback,” and I say to myself, “I see what you are saying, but I disagree.” I am empowered!
Outside feedback amplified my internal and external voice! When used correctly, constructive feedback gives the receiver power to transform.