In a world of 24/7 constant communication shaped by newly-evolving digital technologies, it has become more important than ever to learn how to correctly process critiques on workplace performance.
When people incorrectly process critical analysis from a boss or coworker, it can turn feedback into something called feedsmack, and that can come with all sorts of negative emotions.
Jim Robinson is the CEO of CGP Maintenance and Construction Services. He stopped by the FM Evolution podcast to discuss handling feedsmack after recently writing on the subject.
Robinson said he saw the topic written about in the Harvard Business Review. Early in his career, Robinson said he didn’t know those words. He just felt threatened in the workplace and had his self worth imperiled.
The CEO defined feedsmack as: “Just a feeling. It’s an emotion we get when someone provides honest true feedback.”
Or in layman’s terms, how does one feel when they get honest feedback? Sometimes it feels like getting smacked in the face. When someone feels that, there’s something else going on, according to Robinson. When a person knows they’re not doing the best they can, the feedback they get can feel like they’re being smacked upside the head.
It’s internal emotions about why a person is or isn’t doing their best.
Cognitive assessment theory also comes into play. This is the interpretation of what things mean to individuals, and how they look at it.
When it comes to dealing with feedsmack, Robinson suggests workers put safety first. They need to guard themselves and protect the feelings they’re about to compromise in an emotional way.
Ultimately, Robinson said feedsmack comes down to self confidence. It’s a person being able to recognize they messed up, but they’re okay. Then, process the critique.
One of the challenges workers can face is self confidence doesn’t come early. It’s established later in life as people gain wisdom and new experiences. When someone is providing honest feedback early in a career, it can be rough.
Robinson said people are conditioned in society to get feedback, but they weren’t taught how to receive it.
It’s a similar challenge for businesses across all different industries and levels of growth, figuring out how to teach employees to process feedback in a healthy way, how to take feedback and get something good from it.
Robinson admitted some parts of feedback will be thrown out because it’s just a person’s opinion on how someone did their job. The important thing is to bring in all the feedback, cultivate it out, put unnecessary parts in the trash, and move forward a more efficient worker.
If a worker can look inside, ask where their self confidence is, examine how a critique can help them, and then let it go, they can avoid going home from work feeling destroyed, Robinson said. In other words, don’t let negative emotions run rampant. As one builds their self confidence, feedsmack will seem less harsh.
“It’s critical,” Robinson said. “In the business of facility management, feedsmack is given every day.”
Robinson said he defines self confidence or self worth as what values people place on themselves. It’s the totality of all the data an individual been exposed to in their lifetime. Self recognition comes from repetitive self success and being able to say, “Wow, I did a good job,” then reflecting on that.
Self evaluation needs to be going on all the time, Robinson urged. Leaders tend to be self critical, maybe even a little lonely in their position.
And though it might not seem like it, moments of pain bring the greatest growth. When someone feels beat down, multiple times in life, that’s when they’ll have the greatest growth. It’s those moments of feedsmack that bring the greatest advancement, according to Robinson.
The CEO urged listeners looking for the best way of processing feedsmack to have as much confidence as possible.
If someone feels like they got a beating, he urged them to ask more questions. Clarity is really important. Ask for clarity every time you talk to somebody. When Robinson gets feedback, he said he feels like he has better understanding with clarity. That clarity can boost self confidence.
“What do you mean by that? How could I have done it better?” Robinson urged workers to ask.
Turn around the negative people are giving. Turn it into a positive, Robinson said.
The CEO said an individual’s ability to see things for what they are and process them is based on experience. If people don’t have experience, they’re going to feel feedsmack so much more severely.
Self worth bleeds through in text communication, Robinson warned. If people feel threatened, they internally heighten fear and risk negative response to feedsmack.
Robinson concluded, if someone isn’t growing, they’re dying. People need to grow to serve others at the highest level they can.
For more information on CGP Maintenance and Construction Services, click here.