Don’t Take Feedback Personally

A common phrase bandied about regarding professionalism is “don’t take it personally”. There is a particular time and place to employ this mantra. Many an employee has received constructive feedback and then quickly dismissed it, assuming that their manager didn’t “like them”.

It’s not my fault, Boss just doesn’t like me. NO matter what I do .. blah blah blah.

In this case the mantra is well placed, because of course, your boss is not concerned with you on that level. Or at least, a quality manager is not. A manager worth their salt, who is invested in the company mission, goals, and results is only going to give you feedback as it relates to your ability to meet said goals and fill said mission. If you are getting quality constructive feedback, its because you aren’t hitting your numbers, milestones, objectives and your manager is asking you to change behaviors to yield different results. Don’t take that personally. It’s about what’s best for the business.

In most manager- employee relationships, you just don’t rank high enough on the totem to be given enough space in your boss’ discretionary thoughts for them to plot out your demise or come up with ways to hurt you. They have other things to think about. Sorry, it’s true. They aren’t thinking about your life as much as you think. What they are thinking about is your work product . . . a lot.

Become An Asset

From middle managers to C suite professionals, one thing they all have in common, is that they are concerned with everything other than who they like best. The quickest way to be “liked” by someone of influence in your firm, is to do something to make their responsibilities easier for them to manage. Can you create a new system, process or communication channel that makes work more efficient? Bosses love that stuff!

Make them look good, and they will advocate for you all day. It’s not that they like you, its that they like what you do for them and by extension the company. It’s not personal. It’s business. Turn yourself into an asset and you create value for your boss and for the company.

Take It Personally

Work is where we spend the majority of our waking hours. We train most of our lives to find work that suits our temperament and skill set. People go into mountains of debt training for their career, for a better job. So when it comes down to where to work and what to do, that should be immensely personal. As personal as your conversations with Navient/SallieMae/Nelnet and the DOE – as personal as how do you like your coffee –as personal as finding your soul mate, and true life partner.

Just as you navigate your life around paying off student loans, and make your coffee exactly as you know you like it, and why that special someone makes you smile when no one else can –your work should be working for you and your life in the most deeply personal way.

Your work should be working for you and your life in the most deeply personal way.

We spend months picking out the perfect apartment, weeks planning an ideal vacation,years planning for the perfect wedding, but when it comes to job searching, we have reduced ourselves to taking the first offer from whomever will have us. WRONG!! On average we spend over 10 years of our total lives working. More than eating or exercising or spending time with loved ones. What we do with that time should speak to us, make us excited, hold our attention and have a degree of emotional investment. Anyone who says, “it’s just a job” – has given up on a huge part of their life. If it’s “just a job” and you are living for the weekend, you are living a half life (or wasting 13% of it which is huge since you spend 33% of your life sleeping).


INfographic on ahow the average life is spent. Sourced from http://fundersandfounders.com/what-7-billion-world-population-does/ Found on Mariedeveaux.com (Career coach) in article about taking work personally.

So, no don’t take quality feedback about your performance personally. Take your career personally.

You show up each day in your skin, with your ideas, your unique experiences and skill sets, and if your work is not a perfect fit or the organization doesn’t jive with your profile, you should take it personally and move on. NO one would keep going on the same bad date for 40 years in a row would they? Do they? Would you? Are you?


What has been your experience finding work that speaks to you personally? Shout out your journey by leaving a comment in the thread.

Apply now for Facilitator Certification: Cohort 3 starts in 2024