Have you ever received negative feedback before? Say, a friend or family member complaining about you. A boss or colleague critiquing your work. A partner or a spouse unhappy with something you did.
I run The Personal Excellence Blog which has a readership of about 3,000 readers a day. Every day, I receive feedback about the articles I write. While most of them are positive, there is the occasional negative feedback every now and then.
Admittedly, negative feedback can be tough to deal with sometimes. It’s much more encouraging to be receiving compliments than disagreements, because the former positively affirms that we’re on the right track, while the latter suggests we are doing something wrong. After years of dealing with feedback whether in school, work, or now running my own blog and business, I’ve become accustomed to getting negative feedback, but even then there’s the occasional feedback every now and then that would sting.
Yet, unless we are living in a holed up world where we don’t have to interact with anyone, receiving negative feedback is part and parcel of our everyday life. People will always have different opinions, and they are entitled to hold their opinions and say what they want to say. The question then isn’t on how we can avoid negative feedback, but to learn to roll and deal with them. If you can learn to handle negative feedback effectively, it will be a crucial skill that will help us in our journey of growth.
Here are my personal 6 steps on how to deal with such feedback.
1. Pause first; Don’t react.
When receiving negative feedback, it’s natural to want to defend yourself immediately. Has there been a time when you received a negative criticism, and your first instinct is to say: “No, this isn’t true..” “You’re wrong..” “No, that’s because…“?
However, no matter how negative the comment was, you have a choice in your reaction. Reacting defensively tells more about you as a person than about the comment itself. Remaining calm and composed helps you deal with the feedback better. If you feel riled up, give yourself some time to cool down first before engaging further.
Whenever I get a negative feedback, I rarely ever respond immediately. If it’s a real-time conversation, I would always pause for a few seconds to process the feedback in my mind. If it’s a delayed communication, such as over email or a comment at my blog, I’ll leave it there for a couple of days while I let it sit in my mind. I found that when I read the same piece of feedback at different times, it conjures up different thoughts and emotions. Hence, referring back to the feedback at different times and aggregating the feelings help me to put things into context. Sometimes we may interpret a comment in a wrong manner and looking it at another time helps us to consider from a different perspective.
2. Understand what the person’s concerns are
Every feedback, whether negative or positive, comes from somewhere. Something you said or did made the person react this way. You can choose to ignore the feedback, but then you’ll never know what was it that triggered the person. This means there’s a possibility of this issue recurring in the future.
Use active listening and understand where he/she is coming from. Some questions to ask yourself include:
* What is he/she concerned about? What are the key issues?
* Why is he/she reacting this way?
* What did you do/say that triggered him/her?
Write down these answers so you can evaluate them in step 3.
Sometimes, the person giving the feedback may not be aware of the real areas of concern. He/she might just be saying ‘I don’t think this is done well’ or ‘I don’t like how you are doing this’, without supporting reasons. This doesn’t mean you should dismiss the feedback, because something did trigger it. It’s up to you to probe the person and discover what the actual reasons are.
I found a tip that really helps in understanding his/her concerns is to put yourself in the person’s shoes. Imagine you as the person and think about how he/she felt. This will make it easier to understand why he/she commented that way. Whenever I do that, it instantly becomes clear why the person said the things he/she said, and helped me to understand his/her concerns.
   下一页 【已有很多网友发表了看法，点击参与讨论】【对英语不懂，点击提问】【英语论坛】【返回首页】