Three Tips to Use Feedback to Your AdvantagePeople typically equate feedback to criticism, and as hard as it may be to hear, it’s important to know how others perceive you.

“It can be painful to receive criticism, and most people avoid it like the plague,” says Cy Wakeman, contributor to Forbes.

Feedback implies the participation of two parties. It’s a give and take where both people learn to grow. As the leader, you give feedback to your employees and work with them to help turn their weaknesses into strengths. But if you don’t think you need feedback, you are misguided.

Wakeman offers some tips on how to use feedback to your advantage.

You’re Not Always Right

Everyone has room for improvement, and leaders are no different. View feedback as data to understand, analyze, and allow you to make better decisions.

“Every bit of criticism is a gift, helping you see past your ego and make the changes you need to become more competent, more effective and more valuable,” says Wakeman.

It’s Not Personal

It shouldn’t be viewed as emotional, it’s just information. Wakeman says when you maintain your emotional distance, you’re able to extract the valuable information that helps you develop and grow. Once you find value in it, you’ll be on the lookout for useful nuggets of information. If you do take offense to it, simply say, “thank you” and walk away to give yourself a chance to analyze the feedback. Facts are often overshadowed by emotion, so pay attention to them.

Use Feedback to Change

Wakeman suggests leaders be proactive and ask their team for constructive criticism. A simple, “What is one thing I could do differently to improve my results?”

Take the feedback and make it happen. Set specific, measurable, and actionable goals to help you through the process. What really helps you change is when you involve other people. You have someone to answer to when you don’t achieve the goals you’ve set.

Effective leaders should be open to both positive and negative feedback. They can use it not only to improve their performance, but that of their companies as well.

Feedback is a part of life. It can be painful to receive it, but remember you can use it to your advantage.

What other tips would you add? Have you used feedback to your advantage?