Feedback – what it is? Opinion, fact, requirement? Usually, we consider feedback as a message. Most of us think about positive information or at least – neutral. But in fact, negative feedback plays also an important role in our world. Because it is not only difficult to provide, but even more difficult to accept. Especially when the matter goes about ourselves.
Warren Buffet, the American economist, used to said ”Honesty is a very expensive gift. Don’t expect it from cheap people”. And this is how the negative feedback should be treated. As a chance, opportunity, factor for a change, point of improvement.
To be able to accept this unusual gift you have to be mature and know how to ask for it. I know that this sounds like an absurd and most probably you are wondering, why should you ask for it. In this example asking means learning and developing. I can understand that working on the case you hate and want to forget is difficult. To move forward, you have to run over the obstacles and how Brian Tracy says – eat that frog!
Below you can find 5 strategies which can help you to accept the unexpected and unwanted feedback. I have tried them all and I also learn them my team-mates. Highly recommended!
1. Open your mind
Usually, you can perceive the negative feedback as the attack. During the attack, you can change immediately your attitude to the defensive one. Defending is the first step to war. Instead of apologizing and explaining yourself, seat and shut up. Listen to what the other side has to say, analyze allegations and be ready for an open and honest conversation about them.
2. Do not fight with facts
When you are receiving the information that you have failed, you should feel that you need or even must present your own story. Take a step ahead and consider, whether it can bring the effect you want? No! Do not fight with facts. Don’t adjust the reality to your world. Safe your energy (and time) for quiet listening, finding conclusions and looking for solutions. After that dose of arguments, something has to change anyway.
3. Focus on yourself
One of the first things you always think after receiving the negative feedback is your name, your brand. You want to find an express finish in this long obstacle run. On the podium and in the front of camera lights you feel the most comfortable. So don’t focus on places where others have failed, not you. This is the wrong way! Much better focus on your own actions, decisions to make. From each failure learn a lesson. Remember – sometimes it might be that you do not share somebody’s opinion. If you still think about your development, maybe it is the high time to ask some external coach for a consultancy.
4. Find something positive.
If your attitude is in general positive you are much strong to overcome weaker moments. World and people are good. Just sometimes bad things appear there where are not expected. To not give up you need to understand that criticism is always an introduction to something great and amazing. Positive thinking works in a pair with positive coincidences. You are a good person! The whole world is your ally. You need to wait for a little for the right moment. Your time.
5. Take responsibility.
Understanding and acceptance of negative feedback can be learned. You know that! When you are facing it, don’t think any more about the past. What has happened, has happened and cannot be changed. Now is your time. Take the responsibility for own actions. Focus on that what you can change and go into the future with the head high.
No-one is saying that negative feedback is a pleasure to hear. You can have a moment of doubt and lower self-confidence. However, I truly believe that you are smart and can react accordingly. One of your strong qualities is assertiveness and analytical thinking. Feedback doesn’t matter what kind, is a lesson. Whatever a reason to praise or learn – it always brings a new perspective.