Constructive Criticism is Great! Here is What You Can Learn.

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Constructive criticism: helping to improve; promoting further development or advancement (opposed to destructive)

Why is constructive criticism hard to hear, even when you ask for it?

Maybe because deep down, you secretly wish others would say you are perfect and doing everything right.

Being made aware of faults is tough but trust us, the alternative isn’t all that glamorous. If you aren’t being given feedback, that isn’t a sign that you’re perfect, that is a sign of much bigger problems.

Respect those who give radical candor – they want you to improve and succeed.

In an article written by Amber Shiflett, she made some great points about receiving constructive criticism. She mentioned how it increases insight and perspective and how it can cultivate a trustworthy workplace, all of which are true.

There needs to be a mindset shift. Criticism is inevitable. So instead of becoming defensive, use it as an opportunity to learn. Chances are you have received feedback before that was unpleasant but necessary. And chances are that feedback helped you make improvements. So, what can you learn now?

There is benefit in receiving feedback.

As noted above, there is benefit in receiving feedback. You gain insight and perspective you didn’t have before. You see situations with new lenses. You become stronger and more confident. When feedback in the right form is given, the opportunity for unbound development is invaluable. Think of it as adding gains to your portfolio.

What to do when you receive constructive criticism:

  1. Relax. Relax and listen respectfully. View the feedback as an opportunity for improvement. Remember, there is benefit in getting feedback.
  2. Don’t take it personally. A common reaction is to become defensive or emotional. Radical candor is meant to help, not harm. Realize those speaking with you only want you to achieve success.
  3. Take time. Allow yourself time to process the evaluation you received. Give yourself time to reflect and digest the information.
  4. Ask questions. Take notes during the conversation and follow up with questions so you can fully understand what was discussed. Ask for specifics and make sure you understand what was communicated.
  5. Thank you. Thank those individuals for taking time to discuss these items with you. Be appreciative for their time and candor.
  6. Solicit help. How do you use the information provided to make necessary improvements? Ask for recommendations on what your next steps should be.
  7. Follow up. Follow up matters. Use the suggestions given to make the necessary changes and be consistent.

What’s next?

Now it is time to put it into practice.

Have a list of the areas you need to focus on and arm yourself with tools to achieve success. For example, if you were told that your approach to email communication is lacking a respectful tone, make the necessary changes. Learn from others how they compose respectful emails. Use the power of the Internet and find examples of properly composed messages. Continue to seek feedback and guidance. Be consistent.

Knowing your strengths and areas needing change is immensely helpful. Keep a list in your planner, save notes on your hard drive, write down reminders on a sticky note, find ways that work best for you to achieve success.

This is your path, you are in control.


For more suggestions or comments, email us at TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com. We look forward to working with you.

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This is Why You Need to Network at Every Stage in Your Life.

Outline of group of people intertwined in a network of lines

Not a new concept.

Networking continues to be effective because it works. It continues to be worthwhile because of the successful outcomes. Another plus, it is not reserved for an elite group of individuals. Networking can be done, and should be done, by everyone. It does not matter if you are still in college, or a well-established CEO, networking is valuable.

You are not too young or too inexperienced to network.

Just because you are still in school doesn’t mean networking is not useful to you. On the contrary. That is one of the best times to start making connections. Those interactions that might not seem like much at the time have the power to produce results later down the road.

You also don’t have to have an official title to your name. It is not necessary to have a Ph.D. to mingle.

We find that those just starting out in their professional career do not view networking as an important step of the process. That networking doesn’t apply to them because they don’t have a detailed LinkedIn profile.

Man with beard and laptop at wooden table talking with woman in suitOne of the best decisions you can make for yourself is to get face to face with other individuals that have the capability to introduce you to others in the community. You want to grow your network. And as you grow your network, you will gain invaluable connections and information along the way.

There is a vast amount of knowledge that you will never learn from books or webinars. Don’t delay networking.

You are not too old to network.

Another tip – don’t stop networking.

You have heard the phrase, “you’re never too old to learn.” There is always so much that can be learned by meeting with others and finding out about new trends. Stay abreast on current affairs.

Another phrase, “you are never too old to reinvent yourself.” Don’t discredit yourself because of your age. You can keep learning and reinventing yourself as much as you want. You are not held to one role.

The power of networking.

We have discussed the importance of networking, but we wanted to show some statistics that back up our advice.

  • 70% – 85% of jobs come from networking and referrals
  • Seventy-two percent of people say their impressions are impacted by how someone appears and their handshake
  • One in four don’t network at all
  • 68% of entry-level professionals value face-to-face networking more than online
  • Nearly 100% of people say face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships

It’s not only about jobs, is it?

You hear a lot about how networking helps in finding jobs and applicants. While this is true, networking is not only about job searching and recruiting.

Networking brings groups of people together, who wouldn’t normally be in the Woman at table with coffee writing in notebooksame room, and encourages the exchange of ideas, solutions to obstacles, brings forth insight, and develop relationships that sometimes last a lifetime.

So, while networking does help immensely for finding a job, don’t limit the only time you participate in functions to when you are looking for employment.

Networking and job searching.

Now to the part about how networking can help you with finding a job.

One of the major reasons that networking is such an effective way to get a job is that there is something of a hidden job market out there. Some estimate that as much as 80 percent of new jobs are never listed but are instead filled internally or via networking. -PayScale

That is a large number of jobs people are potentially missing if they are not networking.

There is also something to be said about a respected individual giving their personal endorsement on your behalf. Companies are more likely to hire a referred candidate than spending time and resources doing it on their own.

If you are on the hunt for a new job, don’t forget connections you have made or can make.

Suggestions and advice.

From those who have been networking for some time now, we bring you a few suggestions and advice.

  1. Be aware of your online image. Once you start meeting people in the community, they will check out your online presence. Your posts will be reviewed. Your photos will be looked at. All your social media platforms will be inspected. Make sure you are representing yourself accurately.
  2. LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile has immense power to influence. This is acts as your virtual resume. Manage accordingly.
  3. Personal brand. You are a walking brand. What image do you want to project? Dress the part. Look sharp. Know your audience.
  4. Follow up. Did you meet someone you admire and respect? Follow up! Don’t just request to follow them on LinkedIn, follow-up with an email or note. Stay in contact. Meet for lunch. Keep your connections close.

We would love to hear from you on any success stories you have or questions for us. Contact us at TheClarks.Consulting@gmail.com or comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.


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Sources:
Hubspot.com
LinkedIn.com
PayScale.com