How To Embrace Receiving Negative Feedback


Leadership and Marketing Update from H. LEINER & CO.

How to embrace receiving negative feedback:


Receiving negative feedback about the way you work, your personality, your attitude, or any other part of you, can be difficult to swallow. The logical side of you understands the necessity for feedback and that being notified about your shortcomings can eventually be a sign on the roadmap toward your success. But the emotional side of you still becomes defensive, frustrated, and resentful.

Below is the 3-step process for being able to embrace receiving negative feedback:


  • Listen carefully: Not only should you listen without interrupting, but you should look for certain keys to know whether or not to believe the criticism. First, assess whether the critique is fact or opinion, so you can respond more effectively. Then, check whether or not the rebuke is accurate by separating it from the tone of voice. Sometimes the person’s tone can seem like they are exaggerating an issue when in fact it is an accurate accusation. Lastly, understand the motivation behind the feedback. If it is given by someone trustworthy and the goal is to help you, it will likely be more honest than if the person tends to embellish and dramatize problems.
  • Don’t get defensive: When hearing criticism, we usually don’t listen to understand what’s really being said, but rather to point out flaws in the other person’s argument. This approach is unproductive and demonstrates closemindedness. Instead, listen without focusing on your own response. Hear what the other person is saying and ask questions to be sure you understand their entire perspective.
  • Ask for time: Saying that you appreciate the feedback and would like some time to think it over shows maturity and that you value their words. It also helps you calm down so you don’t react impulsively. In a later conversation, your defenses will be taken more seriously because you demonstrate that you really thought it through. You also might need to apologize in that conversation, which is not easy, but shows courage and sincerity.


Remember that negative feedback is part of life and it is helpful to learn from these mistakes and move on.

(Harvard Business Review)



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