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The only way is up

The only way is up

Feedback is not always positive, and it can be easy to lose confidence and fall into the trap of questioning its worth. There is a wealth of knowledge to acquire when you are just starting out. Learning how to be a lawyer is a lot like learning how to do other important things in life: you need to have a go and receive feedback until you get it right. Constructive criticism is defined as the “expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes”. It is subjective, so it is important to keep it in perspective. The next time you receive constructive criticism, you might like to consider these tips. It is not personal Your supervisor should recognise that you do not know everything at your stage. They should want you to develop, ideally providing you with the tools needed to improve. The most important thing to remember is that any feedback you receive, positive or negative, is not a reflection of you as a person, but rather of where you are on your career trajectory. 2019 YL vice-president Alice Cooney says she once received feedback that she was “verbose”. At first she felt outraged until a friend asked her if she knew what that actually meant – she did not. The feedback was accurate in the sense that she used more words than needed in her written work. Alice still occasionally talks too much – but she has focused on advocacy skills to be more direct and to the point. So, do not take it to heart and instead focus on your goal. You may not have understood the intended message.

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