Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

Putting so much of yourself into your work is supposed to be a good thing right?

In many ways, what we do becomes an extension of who we are. I think this is why it is difficult for some not to take feedback personally; any statement (or judgment) about the work is easily projected on to the maker.

How then do we build the openness and humility required to recognize and accept good feedback? At the same time, how do we acquire the objectivity and distance to acknowledge negative feedback and maybe still learn from it?

What is the answer to the ego? Or for the relentless perfectionism that dogs many of us and mostly only masks a real fear of coming up short and going through the painful process of growth?

On the other hand, for those giving the feedback, how can it be done? How do we separate judgment from contribution? How do we ensure we target the object and not the creator? This is even harder, knowing that your listener on his best day may not have the ability to do the work of separation for you.

It is personal. I think it always is.

There is a duty of care on both sides of the conversation when it comes to feedback. The work is hard and requires that both parties show up with compassion and humility.

We need to create more safe spaces, to build more trust.

But I don’t hear a lot of this in the corner of the world of work I currently occupy.