As soon as you return the report to her, she calls you and wants you to visit her room for a couple of minutes.
The topic of the meeting is your report and why your boss is not happy about it.
She thinks that you could do much better and gives you some negative (but constructive) feedback about your work.
You go to your desk again, but you find it hard to concentrate on your work.
You keep thinking about the feedback you just got.
Although the feedback you got was constructive, you still find it difficult to find any positive sides in it.
Your whole workday is ruined and you feel like leaving to go home early.
The collision of two worlds
Facing negative feedback is never easy. No matter if the feedback is constructive, it still may be very hard to swallow - especially if we receive it after some hard work and we think we have done our best to accomplish a task.
When you face negative feedback, two worlds collide: your expectations, their expectations and how the two don’t match.
This collision is inevitable, when your expectations of your work, your skills or yourself are out of sync with the external expectations of you. You might also find it shocking that the output you generated was not enough, no matter if you thought it was almost perfect.
Even if the feedback is given to you in a constructive manner, you may still think it’s unfair towards you and you may get very emotional in front of the person who gave you that feedback.
This makes the situation even worse.
Are you ready to face the criticism?
At some point, you are going to have to face criticism in what you do. However, what makes the difference between the ones who succeed and those who don’t is the way they handle criticism.
The people, who are going to fail, are taking the critique very personally and fail to take corrective action based on the feedback. They think that the person who gave criticism is wrong and doesn’t know what he/she is talking about.
On the other hand, the people who are successful understand that feedback is required in order to grow. It can also improve your results and let you become even more successful.
In fact, if you are receiving feedback, you should be grateful for it. Appreciate the fact that someone gave you valuable advice on how to become better in what you do or how to achieve better results in your work.
Learn to listen carefully
Although hearing feedback is never easy, it is necessary for our growth and development. In order to handle the feedback in the right manner, see it as constructive criticism.
If the criticism is unjustified or goes to a personal level, then it should be ignored.
Appreciate the feedback and the fact that the other person was willing to give it to you. Especially if the feedback is coming from someone who you look up to, so you should be genuinely grateful for him/her.
Even though appreciation plays a big part in how you handle the feedback, it is not enough. In fact, what you do (or don’t do) next plays a big part how helpful the feedback turns out to be.
It’s your responsibility to take action after receiving feedback from your actions or from your work. Otherwise the time spent on the feedback is wasted and you won’t be able to improve as quickly as the reviewer wanted.
4 tips for handling criticism
In order to handle the criticism better, remember these steps the next time:
1. Appreciate. The number one thing to do is to appreciate the feedback, since it is a great way to improve yourself and your actions. Feeling grateful helps with handling the criticism - it makes accepting it much easier.
2. Take it constructively. Take the feedback as constructive, not as damaging. There are times when you might receive feedback which is not justified, but those cases exist far less than the constructive ones. Understand the value of criticism and that it is a great way to reach success faster. It’s much better to receive it, rather than to live in your own fantasy world thinking that everything is alright.
3. Say thank you. Genuinely thank the person who gave you the feedback. Really, say it. Sometimes the person might be surprised at this behavior, but his/her feedback is really a useful tool for creating something much better in the future.
4. Take action. Finally, the feedback is useless if it’s not acted upon. That’s why it’s important to implement the points that the other person gave you the feedback about.
The faster you take corrective action, the better.
Otherwise there is a great danger that you are never fully learning about the feedback that was given to you.
Over to you: When did you receive negative feedback the last time? How did you feel? How did you handle it?
Share your experiences in the comments below.
|Written on 12/10/2012 by Timo Kiander. Timo, a.k.a. Productive Superdad, teaches WAHD superdad productivity for work at home dads. If you want to get more productive in your own life, grab 222 of his best Tips for Becoming a Productivity Superstar.|