How do you deal with receiving critical or negative feedback?
This type of feedback can come from a boss, co-worker, colleague, client, instructor, or even a family member.
There are times when critical feedback is warranted.
Last week was a perfect example. I delivered a speech in my Toastmaster’s group where I received critical feedback from an evaluator . The evaluator was a more experienced professional speaker and I welcomed her feedback.
She shared her feedback in manner that was authentic and compassionate.
She emphasized the positive and powerful parts of my speech. In addition she shared specific points on how I could improve the speech and make it more compelling. She did this from a place of non-judgement.
I understand to improve my speaking skills it is paramount to receive this feedback.
How will I improve my skills if I don’t receive critical feedback from a more experienced professional?
There are many instances throughout our career/life we may receive critical feedback that doesn’t sit well with us. Has that ever happened to you?
It certainly has happened to me! I can recall multiple times receiving negative feedback and being completely devastated. I took it personally and felt like it was a deep wound to my heart.
How do you deal with critical feedback when it is harsh or unwarranted especially from a client, boss, or co-worker?
Here are a few strategies that I have learned personally and share with my private coaching clients:
- Don’t take it personally. This can be challenging especially if we put our heart and soul into a presentation or worked overtime with a client only to find out that our work wasn’t appreciated or perhaps criticized.
- Create an energetic boundary. This is where you practice what I call passionate detachment. Detach yourself from the outcome and
Own what is yours and let go of the other person’s stuff(if they are criticizing or judging you harshly.
- Be aware of your own triggers. This is huge. It is important to acknowledge any feelings of fear, judgment, anger or resentment. Take note of possible internal barriers that may be contributing to avoidance of accepting feedback. It is important to clear the emotions prior to having a conversation with the person.
- Allow yourself to step out as observer and imagine how the other person is seeing the situation. This can be a real game changer! Try to see it from the other person’s perspective and from a place of compassion.
- What is the lesson that needs to be learned? Shift the negative/critical feedback into “how can I learn from this”? How do I want to respond differently next time?
It also is a huge opportunity for personal/professional growth to propel your forward in all aspects of your life.
I want to share one of my favorite quotes by Theodore Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt
I would love to hear your comments and experiences!
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