Most people in leadership positions know the importance of receiving feedback in having a successful accounting career. They understand that part of their job as a leader is to provide constructive feedback to employees and help them become better at what they do. Yet, often, leaders struggle with their own advice. The reality is that most people have a hard time hearing constructive criticism, and they also have time giving it. Yet, if you want to be your best self, you have to be open to receiving feedback. Below we’ll cover the importance of feedback in finance and how to be open to receiving it.
Why Are People Often Afraid of Feedback?
It’s human nature to respond to negative stimuli faster than positive stimuli. Historically, our bodies had to be able to sense negative signs so they could react and ensure their survival. For many people, negative feedback triggers a fight or flight response. This fight or flight response increases the amount of hormones that enter our bloodstream, which can make us more emotional than usual. Thus, we respond more intensely to negative experiences than positive experiences. In addition, negative criticism can make people feel attacked or make them question their worth.
People Fear Top-Down Feedback
Most people aren’t blind to their shortcomings. They know they have weaknesses and areas where they need to improve. This doesn’t make it any easier for people to hear criticism. Most employees don’t want to hear their manager tell them what their shortcomings are and what they need to do to fix it. Instead, they want to have a dialogue. They want the opportunity to explain the situation and come up with their own solutions. Employees are generally more receptive to constructive feedback if they feel like their manager is taking the time to listen to them. They want to feel like they have a voice.
Some people see their skills as part of their personality. They view their skills as something that can’t be changed. Other people see their skills as something that is fluid. They have a growth mindset. These people are much more receptive to feedback because they understand and accept that their skills are something that can always be improved. What is important is that mindsets can change. If you have a fixed mindset, you can always develop a growth mindset.
How Do You Overcome Fear?
If your brain is wired to fear feedback, the only way to truly overcome the fear is to rewire the brain. The best way to do this is to make feedback a habit. Developing habits are one of the few ways neuroscientists know have the ability to change the way we behave. Most employees won’t feel comfortable giving and hearing feedback face to face at first, but if you make feedback part of the company’s daily routine, eventually it will become more natural for them. It also helps if you reiterate the fact that consistent feedback will help them reach their career goals.
Most people dislike getting feedback about their work. It makes them feel like they’re not good enough and often triggers a fight or flight response. Yet, without feedback, employees can’t develop their skills and become more proficient at their jobs. They key is to make constructive feedback a habit. Over time, once feedback is part of the company’s routine, most employees will eventually overcome their fear.
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