- Negative feedback is not a problem.
- Never loose your cool.
- No one is perfect. Not Even a critic.
- Use negative feedback as a tonic.
Giving up on your goal because of one setback is like slashing your other three tires because you got one flat.
“Are you nuts? This is such a blunder mistake. How could you even do this? Your voice was trembling, your hands were shaking and your slides were not matching your description. Is that what you call a presentation? You are such a day spoiler. Oh Boy! You have wasted it.” These lines can make you feel as embarrassed as a kid in a naked bar; can force you to doubt your own capabilities. No one likes negative feedback.
We all want to hear only praise and good things about our work and ourselves. Unfortunately, things are not always so rosy. Admittedly, digesting and accepting negative feedback from our bosses, colleagues, family members or people we interact with, is not an easy thing. But, once you manage to learn how to accept negative feedback, how to transform it into something positive, and how to make it beneficial for you; I can guarantee you that there are a lot more opportunities waiting for you.
Negative Feedback Is Good
“Love your critics,” they say. You must feel proud that there is someone who is so concerned about you and so free to give a feedback on your work. When someone speaks negative about your work, don’t see his words as a problem. He might be confusing 6 with 9 because from where he is seeing, it’s 9 and from you see, it is six. My point is – you both can be right or wrong or there is one winner. Do not react. Learn to stimulate and not to retaliate. Reminds me of Sachin Tendulkar; the man who taught other cricketers, how to use sledging in a positive way. Never saw him going mad at bowlers who used to abuse him, but saw many bowlers praising him for his cool. Learn to thank for feedback and then come back with your answer when you’re ready.
Analyze The Problem
But, if someone out there is not happy and you are supposed to make him happy; you need to analyze the information received. Try to figure out where you went wrong, where you have not communicated properly, why you failed and why your actions were not the same as expected? It is highly possible that the negative feedback is just an outcome of a personal disliking. Maybe the work was good, but the critic was not. It becomes very important to know and to ask, why you have been served with negative comments and how you can improve things.
Don’t Lose Your Cool
Do not take it personally. Losing your cool in such situations is not going to improve things; negative reactions of any kind generally will not help. Rejoice that you have a chance to fix your mistakes, improve your performance, and thus get better. Feedback of any kind is beneficial. However, should you start taking things personally, you won’t be able to move a step further. Don’t lose your head because this might be the thing your critic wants. Do not give him an easy victory. Once you surrender, you will be increasing a competitor of yours.
Take Your Time
Never rush things, especially when it is about your bread and butter. If the feedback does not seem right one, ask for more time to come up with an answer. Do not just drop your hat. Go back to your office, analyze what you did and how you did.
You need to support your case with undeniable figures and facts, in case you want to plea – ‘not guilty.’ To win an argument, the best way is – ask questions. Try to have all the details before you speak to your interlocutor. At the right time, do not shy away from giving explanations and evidence to prove what went wrong and why it is not your fault. Try to come with some proposed solution, even it was not your fault.
Regardless of the person spreading negative things about you or your work, you have to know how to move on. Changing workplace is not a solution, but changing things at a workplace can be a better solution. And, when it is about having a change, the real change must begin within ourselves. Try to keep your motivation level as high as possible. Try to behave more actively, more responsibly, and attentively to everything that happens around you.
Finally, remember that it is important to ask a follow-up after the last feedback received because this the only way through which you can make yourself sure about whether you are on right track and whether your solutions were the right ones.