What advice do you have on taking employer feedback in a positive way?

Due to have a 360° feedback session on Friday and part of my probation review. Since I’ve been mostly freelance for the past 3 years, I am dreading the feeling of receiving negative feedback, obsessing over it or getting defensive!

Really want to reframe how I feel about it all - any tips/suggestions/advice welcome!


  • Any negative feedback is never enjoyable to hear, however maybe absorb, step back away and pause for thought. As human instinct is to turn on defensive mode.. when over time you may realise there were some valid points to address.. or wether they were completeley wrong..
  • I’ve had issues like this, mainly due to called being “slow”, “why has it taken soo long”. My approach is to take them through the development getting sign off, try to get them to understand not all design projects are created equal, things requrie more finalised approach than other projects.

    - Not all illustrative type projects can be re-typed like a font, they’re hand made “non editable”.

    - Rendering out projects then Creatives saying “can you change the camera angle or material” when the first render took 5 hours and the deadline is in 1 hour.

    Whatever the feedback is there are in creative industry gaps of understanding through design production pipeline, when the brief requries certain types of design styles, which have to be done on different design software. This could be because we’re in such a poor time management industry of becoming fast food production wanting it to be faster which compromises the planning stages of design.
  • Hey Rebecca,
    This may be coming a bit late, but in case it helps...:) I always took some criticism as a flattering thing, that people want to help you progress in some way. I always felt mildly offended if a manager had no feedback for me - like they weren't investing the time to think about ways to grow. That said, its not a one-type thing. I think its important always to remember that any 'feedback' is purely opinion and you can choose to disagree with it. Hope that helps, Lex x
  • Hi Rebecca,

    I would say the only way that this could go wrong is if you act defensively / respond with a rebuttal!

    When feedback is given, be sure to repeat it back to your Manager in your own words, to make sure that you are both on the same page when it comes to the point they are trying to make.

    I then suggest saying to your Manager that you will go away and think of some steps to address this feedback & impove, and would appreciate it if you could go through your proposed steps together on your next 1:1. Best of luck!
  • You can reframe it as it’s an opportunity for growth. Nobody is perfect and what a gift to know what you can improve on. It will make you even stronger in long run. I read a book called “feel good the new mood therapy” where it mentioned if you can find a little bit of truth in it and just be curious ask questions what can I do to improve? Do you have any advice? It has a section on coping with criticism. Usually people react in 3 ways:
    1. In a “I’m no good response”, feelings of sadness and anxiety. Isolating, giving up behaviours.
    2. “You’re no good response”, feelings of anger and frustrations. Behave in
    obscenities and accusations.
    3. Self esteem response. “Here’s a chance to learn something”. Feeling secure, behaviour is to find a solution.

    Choosing 3 will help you be less defensive.
  • This is an issue with so many freelancers - seperate your ego from the process. No one delivers perfection. Consider it just a normal part of the process to move to a useful outcome. First comes the rough draft, then verion one, two, three etc. Each time adjustments and changes are needed and made. You are lucky to be part of a 360° appraisal process - many places do 180°. Take that as a sign of a progressive, developmental attitude.

    In an appraisal you can expect to be given a rounded view. The appraiser is being invited (as part of the process) to look at strengthening weaknesses and praising and encouraging strengths. There is no way that will happen without discussing where and how you fit in the organisatiomn, have worked with others, timekeeping, delivery, quality - whatever. Can you say to yourself that you have delviered on all front impeccably? If so this might be an opportunity to take on more and show you can progess.

    Good luck. Don't see yourself as subbordinate and hopefully it will be nothing but constrcutive.
  • Breathe.

    Take a moment to look at the great work you've already created. Some of the feedback on those previous projects was helpful, and some of it wasn't.

    It's only one person's opinion and you have the choice to take on board the comments you feel are genuinely helpful to making you grow from strength to strength, and the ones that aren't.

    You've already done amazingly, and should be truly proud of where you're at. This is really just an opportunity for more learning.

    Good luck!
  • Take it as a growth oportunity.

    Don´t take it personally. Every review can be optionated about person or group giving it. You need to be adequate and try to look at it from the side without emotions. Is it true and if you find it is not think why did they reach to this verdict.

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