Using Negative Feedback
Even though none of us relishes receiving criticism, it can have a silver lining (Tweet it!). William Treseder, a founding partner at Silicon Valley consulting firm BMNT, writes in The Harvard Business Review, we can use it to “slingshot” our growth.
Citing a personal story of being rejected by a Marine Corps recruiter and later being accepted after he lost 100 pounds, Treseder says that how we initially react to negative feedback can mean the difference between success and failure. We thwart ourselves, he says, when we take criticism of our behavior as criticism of our identity, when we are stubborn perfectionists, and when we cling to the fallacy that one person can be good at everything. To productively deal with negative feedback, he suggests the following:
1. Embrace emotions – It's only natural to be upset. Let yourself feel that, but let your upset subside before moving forward.
2. Don’t demonize: It's easy to label someone a jerk for criticizing you, but remember they at least made the effort to be honest with you.
3. Prioritize: Sort through the feedback to see what’s worth tackling first.
4. Piggyback on a skill: Target one key area of your behavior and see how you can improve upon it.
5. Commit: Thank the giver of your feedback, tell them about your goal to change, and set a time to meet again in a month or so.
Have you ever used bluntly negative feedback to motivate yourself to improve? What was the result? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion
10/24/2017 01:24:52 pm
I recently went through a multi-rater (or 360 degree) evaluation for the first time. I found it to be a worthwhile process with an assessment tool that was quite effective. There were many comments included in the assessment that fall into the "negative feedback" category. None of them were particularly surprising. However, it is tougher to swallow when the comments come from direct reports and peers as opposed to self-directed criticism. The suggestions offered in the above post will be helpful to reflect upon and apply as I look for opportunities to grow from this experience and the valuable input that was provided to me.
10/24/2017 04:57:43 pm
Thanks for this Mike. Really appreciate your introspection and commitment around your recent 360. And we are absolutely delighted that this week's Communication Capsule was helpful in your processing. Thanks for staying connected.
10/25/2017 09:26:49 am
Ha!!! This is SOOOO helpful. We just concluded a 360-Review of our company's CEO (me). I met with the consultant to go over the final report THIS MORNING!
10/25/2017 09:28:57 am
Love this Bert! So great when life timing is actually perfect. Thanks for the reply. Hope all is well.
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