Accepting feedback

My MSW student is nearing the end of her internship, which is bittersweet for both of us. She is ready to start her professional life and I'm excited for her, but it's been a great experience and I'm sorry to see it end.

In one of our last meetings, I asked her to give me some constructive feedback about our time together this past year. I encouraged her to email me if it was too awkward to do in person. I know that I have a hard time giving feedback, especially to supervisors! She was very gracious about it and agreed to think about it so she could offer me something useful.

It made me think about accepting feedback, which is a tenet of this profession. Use of self is a technique in clinical work; we are tasked with knowing ourselves well. We also need to let others tell us what we cannot see. I know this rationally, but I always struggle with accepting criticism. I have met a few people who are able to do it gracefully and I envy them. I wonder how they can hold open a space within themselves to hear "you can do better" and grow from it, rather than feel defensive or embarrassed. It's a personal goal of mine, to be more gracious in accepting feedback.

Feel free to leave some for me here! Or share with me: how do you accept feedback from your supervisor? From your peers? Do you give it frequently or sparingly? I'd love to hear from you.