by Karen Adamedes
There are a number of disappointments in business that you may need to deal with, and one common one is receiving negative or unexpected feedback about your performance.
Ideally you won’t receive any nasty surprises because you continually monitor and evaluate your performance, are aware of your strengths and weaknesses and able to take remedial action.
However, there are all sorts of circumstances that can lead to negative feedback at work – circumstances out of your control; a new manager who doesn’t understand the context of what you have achieved or you just don’t (for some bizarre reason) perform to your usual standard.
If you do receive negative feedback:
- acknowledge what has been said
- thank the person for their comments
- ask for time – if you need it to think about what they said
- ask questions and clarify your understanding
- go into solution mode and take action – this could be anything from resolving an issue to enrolling in a course to develop your skills
- evaluate what you have learnt
- mentally file away the experience, and
- move on!
When you get negative feedback others will watch to see how you react. No tears. Don’t be emotional, and find ways to give yourself some space.
If you are in a meeting with a number of people you may be able to excuse yourself or take the issue off the table and ask for it to be discussed later, in private. For instance, saying, “Can we discuss this in detail after the meeting?” buys you time to think through your reaction to a situation.
Whatever you do, don’t get into a debate about your performance in public.
If you receive critical feedback in a one-on-one meeting with your manager, you don’t need to react or resolve the situation there and then. If you need time, say you want to think about what has been said and make an appointment for further discussion. Be calm, logical and self-confident, whether you feel that way or not.
How you handle negative situations is often an important influence on how others see you and how ’emotionally intelligent’ you are considered to be.
Career Tip To Go:
Receiving feedback, whether positive or negative, is a good opportunity to learn. You’ll know how to go about things next time, and what you could do more or less of. Then again, you may realize that you are working for someone who has no idea about how to help you develop, or that the environment is not right for you. Whether feedback is positive or negative there is always something you can learn.
Whatever the feedback, don’t beat yourself up for not being or not being seen to be perfect. Don’t replay and relive the situation.
Accept it is has happened, learn what you can and move on.
Career Tip To Go:
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