How to use negative feedback to fuel your career

Published: 20 August 2019 By Harvard Business Review 2016

How to use negative feedback to fuel your career

Although it’s hard to take, harsh feedback is essential in order to learn and grow

 

Try to avoid labelling someone else as a jerk because he gave you negative feedback. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Try to avoid labelling someone else as a jerk because he gave you negative feedback. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

 

How you initially react to negative feedback can be the difference between success and failure. It’s hard, but in order to learn and grow, you have to take negative feedback and use it to slingshot yourself from a negative situation to a much better one.

To make the most of negative feedback, follow these five steps.

1: Embrace emotions:

First, let yourself be upset – it’s only natural. Don’t try to stifle that feeling of injured pride, anxiety or anger. Reach out to someone outside work and vent. Allow your emotions to subside before moving forward.

2: Don’t demonise:

It takes discipline, but try to avoid labelling someone else as a jerk because he gave you negative feedback. Think of it as a very awkward way of investing in you. Remember, that a person only takes the time to offer feedback because they care about you!

3: Prioritise:

Sort through a few different pieces of feedback and determine what’s actually worth tackling. What is one thing you can address right now?

4: Piggyback on a skill:

Take one key area for self-improvement and take a minute – even 10 seconds – to think about how you currently behave. Now identify a way you can alter this behaviour to improve yourself.

5: Commit:

The best way to incentivise yourself is to create an environment of accountability. So contact the person who gave you the negative feedback, thank them for it and schedule a time in a month or so to check in on your progress.

– Copyright Harvard Business Review 2016

 

Previously published in The Irish Times.

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