19. October 2018 Blog

Accepting positive feedback is not so easy

Accepting positive feedback

We know that appraisal and positive feedback at work are a reliable method of keeping your colleagues and team members excited and enthusiastic. So it is paradoxical that accepting positive feedback can sometimes be really difficult.

When our colleagues or managers compliment us on our work, we don’t always listen. In one ear and out the other. Sometimes we may even try to change the subject. And it’s very unlikely that we’ll absorb the compliment, praise or feedback – call it whatever you like – and we don’t realize what our colleagues think about us, what we are good at and how we work. 

Accepting praise is a skill.

It’s strange, but it’s true. Acquiring this skill and learning how to accept positive feedback might one day become your secret weapon and asset. Why? There are not many people who have it. Have you ever truly realized and absorbed positive things that your colleagues say about your work?

We’ve compiled a few strategies for responding to positive feedback and using it to progress your career. You can also set a good example for other colleagues. Giving positive feedback may gradually become a habit in your team or in the whole company and your colleagues will get a chance to move forward in their career and develop their personality. 

Positive feedback among colleagues increases their engagement by 79%.

Don’t deflect praise, accept it

Many experts on human behavior say that we should stop using the phrase "Oh, it was nothing." It’s an automatic answer of someone who has not learnt how to respond to positive feedback. If you get a compliment on something you did, it means you are good at it. Try to think about the things people appreciate about you and try to sharpen the skills even more. 

So next time you receive positive feedback, say "Thank you!" and don’t change the subject. Listen to what your colleague or manager has to say. This will help you learn more about your work and your strengths that you might not even know about :)

Ask follow-up questions 

Asking follow-up questions after receiving positive feedback is crucial. Respond with acknowledgment of the praise and a follow-up question to better understand it and make it as useful as possible. For example, you could ask: "What specifically did you like about my work on this project, why did I deserve your praise? Was there anything specific or did you like my approach in general?"

Use positive feedback to uncover your hidden skills

Sometimes we are used to doing things in a certain manner because we think that it’s normal. However, we may not realize that we do it in a unique way or that it’s our hidden natural skill. But how do you find out the truth? When we often get complimented on something specific, it differentiates us from other colleagues. Internalize this ability or skill and make it part of your work 

This is where your managers come in, because they can give you feedback to make you a unique and passionate team member. A lot of people can do good work, but if the manager helps an employee get clear on what they do best, it will be even better. 

Listen to your managers

Receiving positive feedback at a 1-to-1 meeting can be hard. We tend to expect to hear criticism and negative feedback. Why? Because we are not used to receiving praise, so most of us don’t know how to accept it. 

When managers can motivate their employees and seize the right occasion for positive feedback, their staff will be more satisfied and more productive.

If your manager tells you what you excel at, what they like about your work and where they see you in the future, listen carefully and use it to your advantage. Try to find your ideal role together. 

Corporate culture based on positive feedback

All employees and managers should do their best to create a corporate culture where praise and positive feedback are not rare. Just the opposite :) 

If your colleagues or employees deserve positive feedback, don’t forget to give them praise. Of course, everything in moderation – don’t compliment them if there’s no reason to do so. 

A team that gives positive feedback has better performance and helps the company move forward.

It may sound easy to say and difficult to do, but practice makes perfect. So why not start giving positive feedback today? :)