Receiving Feedback: What to Take Out of it and Whose Words to Disregard ASAP

Should you listen to people? Of course, but beware what exactly they say to you and why.

Ivan Popov
Published in
5 min readJun 7, 2022


Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

I often love to write about leadership — sharing my experience with people out there is truly beneficial for me as well as it gives me the opportunity to look closely at some matters and provide useful information that may be really helpful to someone in a similar situation.

Frequently I choose to write about feedback since I believe it’s such a crucial part of the whole leadership process. And when I say “crucial part”, I mean it both ways — much like employees love to hear from their leaders, it’s quite the same and vice versa.

Receiving feedback actually gives you this great opportunity to see yourself through the eyes of someone else. If that’s not useful, what is? It could be just two or three sentences or a full review that takes several pages. Either way, this shows you that someone cares enough to take the time to share their thoughts and overviews.

Today I decided to broaden a little bit the aspect of feedback — let’s dive into it not only in the sense of workflow asset but rather as the ultimate form of communication people experience in their daily lives.

Why feedback is so important? What can we all take out of it?

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I get asked a lot about what I think.

Be it at the office (I am the CEO of a WordPress development company), or in my personal life: “Hey, Ivan, please share your thoughts with me regarding…” is a fairly typical people’s approach when we communicate.

I’ve asked them “Why?” and their answers have always made me smile and cherish what I do. People consider me to be honest, and straightforward, but also positive and empathetic. In terms of feedback, this means something along the lines of:

“Hey, Ivan, please share your thoughts with me regarding *insert topic in question here* because I know you’ll be honest without making me feel like nothing since you’re a considerate person.”

Well, that’s awesome!

We all cherish feedback because it’s incredibly useful both at work and outside of it. I’m sure the majority of you have experienced a similar situation: you take action regarding a subject since you believe that’s the best approach but the final results are nothing like what you’ve expected. The good thing is that the people around you can easily point at the mistakes you’ve implemented and help you fix them. Do you know why? Because they are not so emotionally involved. It’s much easier for them to objectively state things you probably have missed. And that’s wonderful.

Structured, honest, and considerate feedback is everyone’s golden ticket to future success and personal development. When you have in mind someone else’s perspective on your actions and decisions, you can simply observe the whole picture and make further decisions.

In reality, feedback is a great tool that can help you avoid doing the same mistakes, get better at people communication, perform your job outstandingly, develop necessary soft and hard skills, and overall improve your life.

  • if a plan doesn’t appear to be working out for you, you can simply ask for someone’s opinion and change directions next time around
  • if you experience difficulties communicating with someone, you can simply ask them what they wish you improve when having a conversation with them
  • if you fail at executing your tasks, your manager can share some insightful tips and tricks
  • if a close person to you feels hurt because of something you’ve said or done, enabling them to share their feelings with you can help you introspectively check with yourself and your people’s approach
  • receiving feedback eagerly simply shows you’re steps ahead in your personal self-development journey since you’ve probably already realized nobody’s perfect and you’re willing to battle your demons
  • taking feedback as something you need to consider also helps you know people around you way better (it will also help you know yourself better)

Okay, that’s marvelous, but should you take seriously anyone’s feedback?


But before you are like “But, Ivan, what the hell, man, you’ve just talked about how important feedback is!”, give me a minute to explain.

See, both positive and negative feedback are useful — we cannot simply expect to never get both types. While positive feedback makes you feel praised, acknowledged, seen, heard, and respected, the negative feedback helps you look at things from a different perspective, be more empathetic, and wear someone else’s shoes for a change. All this is incredibly beneficial for your future development.

The important thing here is to pay attention to who gives you feedback.

Feedback from a person who is devoted, caring, proactive, successful at their own thing, and always thriving for improvement is an amazing opportunity for you to get better at things. The reason is the place this person is coming from — their own potential and need for constant self-development and self-improvement.

But what about someone who is simply feeling great about being stuck? Imagine getting feedback from a person who is this couch potato who is always grumpy, negative, lazy, fearful of work and devotion. Perhaps their feedback would simply aim at diminishing your successes while trying to convince you everything’s to no avail. Maybe this person would try to downgrade you, listing endless cons and obstacles to your future plans. But do you know why?

Because it would simply be easier for them to co-exist with someone as non-proactive and lazy as they are. This goal is, at least in most cases, totally subconscious. People are competitive creatures. It would be far easier for a stuck person to try to get you to their level than trying to get to yours. That’s the sad and bitter truth.

With this being said, I just hope you realize you need to not only take any feedback as it is but to also see who stays behind it. Because, really, that’s where the truth arises.

To wrap things up

Feedback is an amazing tool when it comes to self-development and growth. It can teach you so much about work, people, life, yourself, etc. But it’s also important to consider the words of someone who comes from a good place. People can teach us plenty of things — it’s just crucial for you to know that while some of them will try to teach us how to shine, others may try to teach us how to fail for good.



Ivan Popov

i was once an athlete. then a journalist. now i am a ceo of vipe studio. still running marathons though.