Thursday, June 18, 2009

Negative feedback can be a gift

At least that’s how Sam Chapman, CEO and author of The No Gossip Zone, chooses to look at it. In Chapman’s opinion, positive and negative feedback both play important roles in our careers. Instead of looking at negative feedback and constructive criticism as an insult, we should be thinking of it as a gift.

“Without negative feedback, we would never improve ourselves and our lives,” said Sam Chapman. “And after enough practice at accepting negative feedback, you might even find yourself letting out an involuntary “hmm” noise as you realize the truth in a bit of negative feedback.”

Here are four of Chapman’s steps to dealing with negative feedback in a positive way (via Talent Management):

  • Don’t blame the messenger. By accepting that everyone has something valuable they can teach us about who we are, we open up to a realm of creativity, growth and success that we never thought possible.
  • Curb your defenses. Take a step back, a deep breath and remove yourself from the situation for a moment.
  • Feel the emotions, but don’t get stuck. Be careful not to get so caught up in being angry that you don’t have the energy to realize what you need to do to improve.
  • Turn your feedback into a request. Make sure your feedback isn’t in the form of a complaint. The gift of feedback is much easier to receive when it’s in the form of a request rather than a complaint.

And here’s some more great advice on how to handle negative feedback from Alissa Livingston, a merchandise planner for men's clothing and furnishings at Polo Ralph Lauren, from All Business:

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