How to handle negative feedback (and turn it into a positive)

img_1872Negative feedback and criticism can be difficult to take at work, especially if you’re working really hard, but it is inevitable during your career that there will be times you are given less than positive feedback and need to find a way to accept it and turn it into a positive.

Here are our three top tips for handling negative feedback and turning it into a positive:

  • Remain professional and try to resist the urge to react emotionally. Some people take feedback better than others but the worst thing you can do in response to negative feedback is to take it personally and become really sensitive about it. The person giving you feedback (likely to be your boss but equally could be a colleague, client, customer etc) is giving it for a reason and you don’t want to damage any work relationships or give anyone a reason to suggest your attitude at work isn’t good.
  • Take the time to consider the feedback objectively. No one is perfect and you can always improve and develop your skillset and experience. Think about the feedback you have been given – if you don’t feel the feedback is fair or you don’t understand it, then ask the person giving you the feedback for some specific examples that demonstrate what they are referring to.
  • Make a plan as to how you can use the feedback and change your behaviour accordingly. Even if you don’t necessarily 100% agree with the feedback you have been given, unless you take the feedback on board and make some tangible changes to incorporate it in your work then you’re not going to be able to progress. Being able to accept and work with negative feedback and criticism is an important skillset. Make a conscious effort to focus on the things you have been given as development areas and regularly check in with your manager to highlight the changes you have made to incorporate the feedback you have been give and show your manager that you have taken the feedback on board. The effort you are making will be recognised and will show your professional maturity.