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How to respond to negative feedback

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This wasn’t expected.
Sorry it wasn’t helpful to us.
It was all a waste of time.
This is not going to work.
Better luck next time.
Is that your best?
And of course, the most polite form is “Can do better”.

Aren’t we familiar with such negative feedback? How else did they put it for you? What was your first reaction to such feedback? Did you react or respond? 
I am sure each of us striving to do better in our lives has a set of feedback, either positive or negative, that has changed our lives for the better.

The first and foremost thing is to listen very carefully to every piece of feedback without stumbling upon the conclusion if it is positive or negative. If it is true, it will surely lead to betterment. With active listening and the right approach, one can manage to respond to feedback instead of reacting. You can decide later if the feedback is constructive or destructive, so in order to take full advantage of the situation, ask them to clarify their opinion. You can also ask them about methods to overcome the drawbacks in your work. This shows you are inclined towards growth and you have a stable mindset.

Judge your own work. Learn from others’ experiences and judge your work accordingly. This is one way to avoid negative feedback. After all this, if you still receive any negative comment, face it upfront and listen to it carefully. Many of the comments may appear positive or negative at first glance, but it is essential that they be helpful. If you find the feedback of any help, you must appreciate it and be thankful for it. By being open to others’ opinions, you can ask for additional feedback and you may also have some valuable insights for improvements.

We often tend to take negative feedback personally. In case, you receive completely unexpected criticism, take time to process your emotions and make peace with yourself before discussing your feedback. After all, it is your work being discussed, so make sure to conduct the talk sincerely and patiently, so that you can ultimately take things in your own stride.

Never miss the chance to be thankful if you receive constructive criticism. This kind of response is a form of negative feedback enveloped in positivity. Constructive criticism is like medicine. Something that targets the disease to cure it. So, such feedback will highlight the drawbacks along with ways to overcome them. You should know that you will receive such feedback from very sensitive people, and make sure to look into the concerns spotted by them. 

Also, we must accept that we are living in a competitive world. So sometimes, there might be other reasons to give negative feedback. In such cases, honestly evaluate the critic’s intention by asking for clarification. If you cannot find a genuine reason to support their argument, never settle for anything less. Voice your opinion in a very formal and disciplined way. If you have truly put your heart and soul into your work, you must mention it. 

Undoubtedly, gratitude for help and an apology for mistakes will always serve as a good note to close the discussion on. Last but not least, I would like to bring up the other side of the coin. Sometimes we are the only ones to blame. A constant unsatisfactory response is an indicator that we should revisit our choice. As quoted by Amelia Earhart, “The process is its own reward.”

Well, if it is not, we must change the process and the result will take care of itself. Maybe you are in a profession that earns you a decent livelihood but is not your passion. It becomes almost impossible to keep succeeding in something that doesn’t trigger a spark in you. Something you are not enthusiastic about can’t keep you contented for a long time. People shine differently while doing what they love to do. If you have anything in your life for which you have unlimited enthusiasm, you must pursue it.

We frequently hear stories about people who have shaken the laws and broken the rules in order to pursue their passions. Sometimes, a story about a girl who left her corporate job to pursue a course in shoe designing or a banker's leaving his full-fledged career to become a theatre artist. A business woman struggling to plan her meetings well so that she can spare time for a dance class in the evening or an advocate who is yearning to celebrate a guitarist within. Some negative experiences at work are just due to a lack of enthusiasm, and these experiences remind us of the things we are enthusiastic about. Such setbacks frequently serve as a tipping point in our thinking, giving us the confidence to pursue our passion as a profession.

So, without limiting them to the scale of positive or negative, know that the feedbacks are good. Have them and grow with them!

For questions or inquiries, please email info@vibrnz.com.
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How to respond to negative feedback by Surabhi Thakur
Negative feedback is a always a big part of our personal as well as professional lives. People respond differently to it as it can have both a negative and a postive impact. read on.....
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