How to Deal With Negative Feedback at Work

Even when you strive for excellence in your profession, there may come a time when you receive less

Even when you strive for excellence in your profession, there may come a time when you receive less than positive responses or reactions to your efforts. When this occurs, deal with negative feedback at work with careful examination and a positive response. By turning negative feedback into a positive learning opportunity, you may improve your performance and enhance your business.

Step 1

Make yourself listen without speaking or defending yourself as you receive the feedback. Remember, even if you completely disagree with the feedback, chances are there is some basis to it or you would not be hearing it.

Step 2

Paraphrase what you perceive you heard. By rephrasing the feedback you received, you can clarify what you think you heard and make sure you understand the comments. Ask the person if you just paraphrased correctly. This may open a dialogue in which you can have a constructive discussion about the situation.

Step 3

Restrain yourself from reacting to the negative feedback. If you react, you will not be in a position of learning and improving.

Step 4

Thank the person for sharing her thoughts and opinions with you. Tell the person you want to use the feedback to improve, and you plan to spend time thinking about how you can make adjustments. Tell the person you will reply to the feedback after you think about it.

Step 5

Think about the feedback as objectively as you can. Analyze the person’s motivation for the feedback, and determine what his concerns may be. Consider the feedback a glimpse into your weak areas, affording you a perspective you can use to improve. Instead of immediately discarding the feedback, use it as a tool to sharpen and correct weak spots.

Step 6

Ask for input from other people you trust. Whether an advisor, mentor, supervisor or colleague, share the negative feedback you received and ask for objective opinions. Ask the person if he thinks the feedback has legitimacy. Listen carefully to the comments and thoughts you receive.

Step 7

Reply to the feedback after taking the time to think and analyze. Share your thoughts about the feedback, specifically noting the points in which you agree or disagree. Give reasons for your agreement or disagreement, but keep the conversation constructive. Direct the conversation toward a positive plan for the future, if possible.




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