Handling Negative Feedbacks

We all have received discouraging reviews or feedback in our lives that we wished we would have handled better or used as an opportunity to learn from it.  Feedback whether positive or negative are an important part of continuous improvement process that we all go through in our careers.  The way we handle these negative feedback defines how we function in a team environment and how we are seen by the upper management.

Everyone has their own way of handling constructive feedback, but there are some basic methods that should be employed to learn from discouraging comments from your teammates or management.

Identify the Review:  There are two types of reviews, constructive and destructive.  Destructive reviews are not usually meant to encourage you to work hard or improve yourself but to put you down and they are usually personal.  They should be ignored.  Constructive reviews may seem harsh based on how it is delivered but it still has value and will help improve your performance and image.

Identify the Source:  Not all the constructive comments may help you improve professionally.  You need to identify who is providing the review and determine whether the person or the team members are the right people to provide the comments.  Are these the people that you respect and have your best interest in mind?

Be Brave, Listen & Clarify:   As difficult as it may be for you to listen to comments about your short falling or lack of performance from the people that you respect, it is important for you understand your weaknesses.  You must keep your emotions in check in order for people to give you honest feedback. Listen carefully to understand how your performance is seen by others and ask for clarification when necessary.

Learn & Grow:  Use the feedback received as an opportunity to enhance your performance and skills. Furthermore, do not wait to get feedback from your teammates or management until annual performance review, ask for continuous feedback.  This way you will not have to wait until end of the year to find out how your work is perceived by your peers.

Overall, there many different things that may affect your performance, whether its schedule, project complexity, or something personal and not everyone involved in providing the feedback will be aware of all your situations.  However, constructive feedback are still great way of identifying your weaknesses and determining how you are seen in an organization, which will critical in your professional career.

Have you ever had a negative review given to you by your teammates or management?  How did you handle it?  Do you think the review was fair?  What did you learn and improve from it?