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Millennial Minute: Giving and Receiving Feedback

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Giving and Receiving

Just like that, we are back! I hope your week has been positive and productive thus far. Welcome to another week of the Millennial Minute. Today we are talking feedback, which for some is easier to give than receive.

I thought about this topic last week when working with our interns. They are passionate, driven, and have truly embraced everything the future of this industry has to offer! We will chat about the importance of internships another week. But I will say, internships are like best friends, don’t leave college without one, or two!

Back to our interns. They are wrapping up for the semester, so last week I sent out instructions for their final project, asked for a draft copy by the end of the week, and emailed them both to stop by my office to review and get feedback. I got the following quick replies from each of them: “I’m way off aren’t I?” and “My ideas were whack, right?” Whoa! How did I somehow become the bearer of bad news simply because I called them in for feedback only to enhance their project and to gain useful advice? This also isn’t the first time they have responded in that manner. So I thought, where does that immediate feeling of negativity come from when we hear the word feedback? And really, what is feedback?

#TBT to early twenties Britt. I asked myself, was I that cautious when I heard the word feedback from a supervisor? I know I was always ready and open to feedback and I knew it could go either way, but I never walked into feedback assuming it was negative. I think that is a key difference from myself and our younger Millennial interns. I grew up craving the need for feedback in order to grow and also understood that feedback is/should not always be negative. That could be from my upbringing but at the end of the day, feedback is beneficial for many reasons:

  • It can motivate you. Being able to receive and give feedback shows value. You feel valued because someone took time out for you specifically.
  • It facilitates continued learning, and we all know being a career learning is essential to growth, professionally and personally.
  • It can also improve or help correct performance. This is not to be confused with criticism, which is not effective feedback! In the times in my career that someone sat me down to give me feedback on performance, I was able to improve or correct instantly. How can you learn and move on from something if you did not know?

These benefits also extend to the employer. As one article said, “Often decried as the “everybody gets a trophy” generation, millennials’ need for feedback and recognition can, in fact, have a positive impact on companies. It ensures that complacency doesn’t set in and has forced some companies to become more merit-based than their hierarchical corporate predecessors.” Source

To my Generation – Let’s talk about tips to receive feedback.

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