How to Remain Positive When Receiving Negative Feedback

noIf your year-end performance review was less than stellar, don’t sweat it. It’s bound to happen at some point, right?

According to a piece on CNN, the key is hearing things you may need to hear.

So, how can you keep those ears open when your boss is giving you feedback that’s difficult to stomach? The piece recommends reminding yourself you’re actually in control. How you respond will determine how the rest of the conversation goes and how much you actually get out of it. 

Even if you’re shocked at first, put emotions aside. And if you’re not talking it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being passive. You’re taking it all in, that’s all.

Once you’ve taken in the information, figure out action items and distinguish fact from fiction. “’You were $30,000 over budget on the XYZ project’ is a fact. ‘You don’t communicate well enough with your peers’ is an opinion.” Keep in mind many bosses haven’t been effectively trained on giving feedback, his or her delivery style may be lacking. Opinions are just that — opinions and typically riddled with vague, tactical information to help you improve.

Ask questions. If your boss says you need to improve your communication skills, politely ask, “In what way?” Maybe it’s in person instead of online. Regardless of the issue itself, approach it like a problem that has solutions readily available.

Look on the bright side, too. Definitely take emotions out of it by not taking it personally but if you never receive any constructive criticism, how would you ever truly learn and grow?