How to Handle Negative Feedback (Without Taking It Personally)

Share

handle negative feedbackNegative feedback is a fact of life: indeed, if you don’t regularly receive it you should worry! When it is constructive, negative feedback helps you to improve at what you do. And taking it well is a great opportunity to demonstrate to your boss that you’re engaged with your work and keen to develop.

But knowing that negative feedback has positive results doesn’t stop it from stinging. It takes calmness and maturity to process criticism like this, but those assets aren’t always easy to access when you’re caught off-guard.

One trick is to slow everything down to give your emotions a chance to settle before you respond. Slow your breathing, keep your body language open and lower your shoulders to relax. Asking questions and repeating back what your critic said can win you more time to think about the feedback and to make sure you understood it correctly.

Hopefully the person who delivers the negative feedback is able to do so constructively, but regardless of their manner always respond with thoughtful thanks and, when appropriate, a genuine apology. The thanks let them know they’ve been heard and get you into the mindset of ‘being helped.’ The apology should be heartfelt. It helps you to think about what you’re actually apologizing for.

Moving on from negative feedback should be a positive experience. If the feedback was accurate, arrange a follow-up meeting so that you demonstrate your will to improve. If you disagreed with the feedback, write it down as closely as you can remember it and read back through it objectively. If you still disagree, talk it over with a trusted friend or colleague to get a third opinion.

Your emotions are useful when responding to negative feedback, but only if you have them under control. We’ve created a new guide on how to handle negative feedback so that you can draw meaning from the connection between what is said and how it makes you feel.

Approached with the right technique, negative feedback can be a springboard to greater things. Are you ready to step up to the challenge?

negative feedback management

Sources

  1. Grote, D. (2015). How to Handle Negative Feedback. Hbr.org
  2. Edcuba. (2019) 7 Best & Helpful Tips To Manage Negative Feedback Process. Educba.com
  3. Lerner, H. (2013). Stop Being So Defensive! This 12 Step Program May Save Your Marriage. Psychologytoday.com
  4. Yackle, K. Schwarz, L. Kam, K. Sorokin, J. Huguenard, J. Feldman, J. Luo, L. Krasnow, M. (2017) Breathing control center neurons that promote arousal in mice. Science.sciencemag.org
  5. Reiman, Tonya. (2008). The Power of Body Language: How to Succeed in Every Business and Social Encounter. Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
  6. Salemi, V. (2017) The good way to respond to a bad performance review. monster.com
  7. O’Dell, A. (2019). How To Handle Negative Feedback – – Even When It Makes You Want To Cry. Inc.com
  8. (2009). So you’re not perfect, and you’ve been told so. Nbcnews.com
  9. Malacoff, J. (2017). What to Do When You Get Negative Feedback at Work. glassdoor.com
  10. Moy. R. How You’ll Want to Respond to Bad Feedback (and How You Actually Should). Themuse.com
  11. Lindsay, N. Taking Constructive Criticism Like a Champ. Themuse.com
  12. Boulter, R. (2018). Making Feedback Actionable. Paradigmshifters.com
  13.  Henry, A. (2013). How Can I Learn To Take Criticism Without Taking It Personally. Lifehacker.com
  14. Wilding, M. 5 Ways Not to Handle Negative Feedback. themuse.com
  15. Breuning, L. (2016). How to Train Your Brain to go Positive Instead of Negative. forbes.com
  16. Frost, A. How to Respond to Negative Feedback in (Almost) Any Possible Scenario. Themuse.com
  17. Wakeman, C. 4 Steps to Staying Positive After a Bad Review. Themuse.com

Grote, D. (2015). How to Handle Negative Feedback. Hbr.org

 

Embed This Image On Your Site (copy code below):

About 

Babs is a Senior Content Writer and financial guru. She loves exploring fresh ways to save more and enjoy life on a budget! When she’s not writing, you’ll find her binge-watching musicals, reading in the (sporadic) Chicago sunshine and discovering great new places to eat. Accio, tacos! 

Comments