What to do when you receive negative feedback at work

Receiving negative feedback at work should not put you in a bad mood (Parents Africa)
  • Learning not to take criticism personally especially at work is an important skill to have.
  • If handled right, this harsh feedback could actually help you grow and make you better at your job.
  • Below are four great ways to receive negative feedback well without breaking down.

No one likes to be criticised, but it does happen at some point, to even the best professionals. When it happens, you have two options — you can either get sad, angry or defensive (all bad ideas) or you can take the following steps:

  • Listen with an open mind

Try paying attention to exactly what is being said. To avoid misconstruing anything, ask questions so you fully understand the feedback. Keep an open mind and always assume the person has the best intentions. For all you know, this feedback could be exactly what you need to learn something new or improve in a particular area. 

  • Try not to take it personally 

It is hard not to feel personally attacked when someone criticises your work but it does not have to be that way. Just remember that they are simply criticizing your work, not you as a person. Keep the focus on your work which is separate from your person. Try taking a deep breath if you feel yourself getting angry or heated until you calm down. 

  • Take it as feedback, not necessarily criticism

A great way to avoid taking things personally is by seeing it as feedback not criticism. This mind shift is crucial since criticism has a negative, unhappy connotation while feedback can be positive. The latter helps you grow and become better at your job.

  • Make the corrections

The next thing to do after receiving criticism is to put the feedback to good use. Make the necessary changes, learn from them and move on. Try not to ruin your self-esteem by replaying the moment in your head.

Receiving criticism does not always have to be a negative thing, it just depends on how you deal with it. 


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