Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Negative Remarks, Often Hurtful. Constructive Criticism? Often Helpful

Turning negative feedback into a positive experience

We all love positive feedback—that kind of encouragement makes us smile. But life has its ups and downs; negative feedback is inevitable: it doesn’t feel good, and sometimes, we don’t handle this well. In a former blog, I talked about our internal reactions to criticism.

Today I’m sharing what HBR says about receiving… and then using negative feedback.

Here are the three steps from Harvard Business Review:

  1. Stop your inner voices that want to give excuses and LISTEN! This means listening with your heart, not just your ears. You’ve got to be as OBJECTIVE as possible. Usually the feedback is not about YOU as a person, but something you did. Listen well so you won’t do it the same way next time.
  2. Don’t be defensive. Don’t fight fire with fire, even if you know that the person giving the feedback is wrong. There’s no use in getting into an argument and neither of you would benefit anyway.  
  3. WAIT! This is powerful. Say something along the lines of “I really appreciate you giving me this feedback, and I don’t want to respond without thinking through what you’ve said." Take your time to assess and evaluate the information. Drop the person an email soon afterwards, thanking them again, and even noting one part of their feedback that was helpful (even if only a little bit).

And here’s a bonus step from me: LEARN.

Let’s supposed the feedback missed the mark—that it's 95% wrong and was only 5% accurate.

Then put it in your heart to LEARN from that 5%. I learned this from one of the most humble and effective executives that I ever had the privilege of working for.

So learn as you go… and keep moving forward.


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