Four Ways to Turn Negative Feedback Into Something Productive & Positive

Feel like you were unjustly ripped in an annual performance review? Or maybe a colleague made a remark that hit too close to home? Whatever the situation, chances are at one time or another you may have received negative feedback.

Well, instead of taking it personally there are a few ways to not only take it in but turn it into something positive and productive for your career.

As per a piece on Forbes, there are several tactics to consider.

1. Own it. That’s right, we said own it. No one’s perfect so why should you be either? Accept the feedback and realize that’s just what feedback is intended to do: Make you stronger, smarter, better. If your boss perhaps told you to develop your soft skills, dive deeper. Ask for specifics — your communication skills on the phone? In person? Online? Getting granular will help you create an action step to ramp up those skills.

While you’re at it, solicit the boss or feedback provider in the process. Perhaps check in with them periodically to re-evaluate and see if they notice improvement. Involve him or her in the process and demonstrate that you’re serious about turning the criticism into an accolade over due time.

2. Assume good intentions. As pointed out in the piece, you don’t need to jump to an immediate conclusion that whoever criticized you is out to get you. Also, distance yourself from your work. They’re finding fault in your work, not you.

3. Treat the feedback as an opportunity to bind with your manager.  As pointed out in step number one above, leverage this as an exercise to deepen your relationship and make it stronger. It will also show your boss that you value his or her opinion. Plus, you’ll get to know what he/she values most in terms of upward mobility, professional growth, etc. Your manager wouldn’t have criticized you in an area and brought it to your attention if he or she didn’t think it was important to strengthen.

4. Get additional support; seek a mentor. For starters, this may also be an opportunity to not only build upon your relationship with your manager but your peers as well. Why not seek a mentor to get additional feedback? Instead of feeling down about the situation, a mentor will likely point out your positive skills and experiences as well.