Everyone dreads receiving negative feedback about their performance from their employer, and sometimes it can be challenging to know how to deal with it. We’ve put together a few tips to ensure you stay professional and proactive, so you are able to turn a negative experience into a positive one.

  1. Listen

Try not to disregard your manager’s comments, even if you don’t agree with what they’re saying; stay objective.  Hear what it is the other person is saying and try to understand. If you need to, ask questions so that you know exactly what it is they’re picking up on.

  1. Don’t get defensive

A common mistake is to take what someone is saying personally. Remember, feedback is not directed to you, but to your work. Try to take it constructively: state what you have learnt and how you will improve based on the feedback given. Keep in mind that those giving you feedback are usually the ones trying to help you to progress.

Remember, those giving negative feedback are usually the ones trying to help you to progress.

  1. Stay calm

If you feel yourself getting angry and upset, remember where you are and deal with these emotions once you’ve left the room. Do something distracting, such as going for a walk, or making yourself a hot drink, so that your emotions don’t affect your work any further.

Save discussing the feedback until you get home. Ranting and raging to your colleagues could lead to further consequences with your manager, so wait until you get home to express your emotions, then you can move forward.

  1. Move forward

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes and it’s about being able to learn from them and grow as a person. Take any negative feedback as a positive: you know where your weaknesses are, so now you can work on them.

Address the problem, take the feedback and determine where you can make changes so that you’re performing better next time. If you don’t understand or need further clarity, speak to the person that gave you the feedback and ask their advice – they’re there to help you.

  1. Say thank you

Although it might not seem like it straight away, receiving negative feedback will improve your performance at work and make you better at your job. Remember to thank your colleague/line manager for their feedback so that you appear professional and respectful, regardless of how you feel about it.


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