How to turn negative feedback into a positive

At some point in your career, you will receive some negative feedback, but how will you handle it?  Will you accept it and make changes?  Will you take it too personally and quit your job?  While every one of us strive to receive positive feedback, there will be instances where the feedback will be less than positive.  Those that learn how to turn the negative into a positive will find they have less negative feedback over time and more success.

Here are a few ways you can turn that negative feedback into a positive:

  • Learn to look at feedback as it was intended – a mechanism for growth. In order to grow in your position, you must have feedback.  Without it, how will you know if you are doing your job correctly?  Once you understand that feedback is just a communication mechanism for growth in your job, you can take out the personalization.  Feedback is nothing against you personally, so do not get offended or become defensive.
  • Before you react to the feedback given to you, step back and look at the facts. You are not the victim here, just look at the situation and the facts.  When you review the situation and look at it as a third-party, you will see the reality of the situation.  When you are able to do this, you will be able to see what you can do to correct the situation.
  • Often times, negative feedback will bring out the pointer and the blame game begins. Do not be tempted by this.  Sure, there may be others involved in the situation, but you need to concentrate on you and how you can turn the situation into a positive outcome.  Let others deal with their own problems.
  • Look at every piece of feedback, even negative feedback, as a learning experience. In most situations, you can ask for additional feedback on how the task should be done.  Ask for additional training or the opportunity to shadow or work with someone that has been doing the task.  This not only shows professionalism, but shows that you are willing to learn and grow.

Your best option for turning negative feedback into a positive, is to learn to take accountability for all of your actions – good and bad.  Accepting feedback shows great professionalism, which employers appreciate.  You will find that when you accept all feedback, learn from it, and use it to grow in your position, you will have more job opportunities, and your job will not seem so awful.

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