As lifelong learners we believe that we can learn from all feedback but this is not as easy as it sounds. An article on the BBC website asks why even the best feedback can bring out the worst in us.
Even though we may know that feedback is useful and can help us succeed it may also make us feel bad if we take it personally - it may affect our self-esteem. Some people will instinctively try to dismiss the feedback, for example by finding a problem with the person who gave the feedback. The article describes some interesting experiments which demonstrate these knee-jerk reactions.
So as lifelong learners we want to get, and learn from, feedback. We also know that it is not easy even if the feedback is good and will help us. Fortunately, the article suggests how we may approach getting feedback. The authors refer to studies that show how we may approach getting feedback to help us in future tasks. This approach involves putting on 'emotional armour' to protect ourselves.
Firstly, we can spend some time considering the positive traits we value in ourselves and when we have used them successfully in the past. Secondly, we can be positive about seeking feedback. We can actually choose to get feedback - telling ourselves that we want to get feedback can actually help us to take the feedback more positively. In fact, the more we put into the process ourselves the more we are likely to benefit from it.
Instructor in the School of Languages at Sabancı University, Istanbul.