Listen and keep an open mind:
We know that getting feedback can feel awkward and even frustrating. However, in order to make the most of it, you must be willing to truly listen and keep an open mind because receiving feedback is an opportunity to grow, learn, and see things from a different perspective. Moreover, make sure to take notes on what’s been said, so you can truly reflect on the comments you are given regarding your exams or assignments.
Learn to accept compliments:
Feedback may include positive comments, but don’t float straight to cloud 9! Take a moment to reflect on what you are doing well so you can bring that same energy and strategies to your struggles. Similarly to constructive criticism, the key is to listen carefully to what’s been said and afterwards take some time to celebrate your accomplishments. Also, keep in mind those positive comments when you feel down because it is normal to struggle with different topics and subjects, but there are others where you are a rock star, so don’t forget that!
Ask questions on how you can improve:
If you are unsure about what you can do regarding what you are being told: ask! Your teachers, TAs, and counselors are there to help you achieve your goals, so if you don’t understand what you have to do to improve, ask them for suggestions or develop a plan together. Try to tackle one piece of feedback at a time. You are more likely to improve in general if you take it step-by-step than if you try to address every criticism simultaneously and get overwhelmed and frustrated.
Cultivate a growth mindset:
Try to see feedback as a challenge and embrace it as an opportunity to grow and learn. Most importantly, believe that you can improve with the right attitude and help. Cultivating a growth mindset will help you avoid taking things personally and instead learn from your shortcomings and create personal goals based on the criticism and/or compliments.
Schedule check-ins with your teachers to talk about your progress:
Don’t wait until the next exam or paper to address your teacher’s comments and your plan of action. Check-in with them often to talk about what you are doing to improve and get feedback on your strategies. Maybe they can add to your plan based on their experience.
Knowing how to receive feedback is a crucial step to succeed in school and your future professional life. Even though sometimes it can be hard to keep an open mind when people comment on your performance, remember we’ve all been there, even your teacher! And we have all learned and gotten better thanks to it.
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