One of the first tasks we’ve been assigned for the Penn State Emerging Leaders program is to identify potential respondents for an activity called the “Multi-Rater Survey.” I’ve never experienced a survey like this before, so I am looking forward to doing the self-assessment portion of this activity. However, I found myself having some anxiety over choosing respondents. On a surface level, I realize it’s important and necessary to get feedback from colleagues from time to time in order to assess your own performance, but personally I am always nervous about it. Even when I get SRTE results from students, I get nervous about checking them. In fact, as an undergraduate I rarely read comments from instructors about my work as long as my scores were high enough. At that point in my career, it was better for me not to know because I had a habit of letting criticism linger far too long on my mind. As an older, more experienced professional, I believe I’ve come a bit farther in controlling my reactions to criticism.
I’m certain I’m not the only one who experiences this anxiousness when it comes to finding out others’ opinions on our work, and I try to remind myself of that every time I’m receiving any sort of feedback because it helps to know that it’s a normal, common feeling experienced by other professionals who care about the work they do. Another strategy that I try to utilize is reminding myself that there’s more to me as person than my work. I don’t live to work, I work to support the life I want to live. Criticism in my professional life doesn’t always need to carry over into my non-professional life, and it shouldn’t. Separation and balance are essential factors that I will keep in mind when I get my Multi-Rater feedback.