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The best way to handle negative feedback

Updated: Jan 2, 2022

Feedback is a gift, as they say. This is supported by research, which indicates that it is a critical driver of performance and leadership effectiveness. Negative feedback, in particular, can be beneficial because it allows us to track our progress and alerts us to necessary improvements. Leaders who seek critical input are rated higher in effectiveness by superiors, employees, and peers, but those who seek just favorable feedback are rated worse. Negative feedback, on the other hand, isn't always easy to understand and act on. It can make us defensive, irritable, and self-conscious, reducing our efficiency. Furthermore, we cannot accept all feedback at face value. While critical feedback is frequently given objectively and with the best of intentions, it can also be inaccurate and/or harmful: a coworker who wants to throw us off our game; a boss who has completely unrealistic expectations; an employee who is afraid to speak truth to power; a friend who projects her own problems onto us. It's difficult to tell what's real and what should be overlooked.

Take the feedback as an opportunity to think about what you've done. Allowing your emotions to get in the way of genuinely assessing yourself and determining why bad feedback was given is a mistake. If you believe you were at fault, apologize and see what you can do to prevent it from happening again. If you believe you were not at fault after reviewing your behavior, have an open conversation with the other person and sincerely endeavor to understand why the feedback was offered. Always accept the other person's disappointment in you, rather than dismissing it because you believe you are correct. Recognize and remember that no one, company, or product is flawless. Accept the fact that we will make mistakes. So, learn to see negative criticism as a source of learning. Let's face it, there's always something we can do better, and sometimes we just don't know what it is. It saves us time to figure things out when we obtain feedback from the consumer, boss, or someone else right upfront. Ask them how they think we can do it better or what they expect, and then go beyond that. Trying to figure out "how" will save us even more time. This method assists us in being realistic and developing a positive attitude toward negative comments.

Negative feedback can be difficult to handle. However, it might occasionally provide you with vital insight into the improvements you need to make. You may be tempted to defend yourself, but this can cause more harm than you believe. This is especially true if the commenting takes place on social media, where your post is visible to everyone. Talking to your consumers and learning more about the difficulty they're having is a good strategy to deal with negative feedback. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer to see if the criticism is justified. If that's the case, acknowledge the viewpoint and try to figure out what's causing the issue. Your next task is to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

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