Receiving negative feedback from a coworker is never easy. It doesn’t matter whether the criticisms are constructive or unjust, anything less than total praise is total punishment for a perfectionist. It’s important to remember that if you want to grow and develop and become the best version of yourself, you need three things: feedback, feedback, and more feedback. Feedback can turn mundane tasks into meaningful ones. It can help you understand where you’re doing well and where you can improve. It will help you establish the goals you need to succeed. But the first step is to learn how to take negative feedback with dignity—as a learning experience. Here are some tips on how to flip the script and start using feedback as fuel for the fire.

Listen to Feedback, Don’t React

Many people will immediately go on the defensive when faced with criticisms. Rather than listening and responding appropriately, they immediately react. Invite feedback into your life with openness. Hear them out. If you don’t understand where the criticisms are coming from, simply ask. Your colleague or superior will immediately see that you’re a team player. After all, criticism is just part and parcel of collaboration.

Don’t Take Constructive Criticism Personally

Remember: a criticism of your work isn’t a criticism of you. Your value as a person is not related to what your coworker thinks about your most recent assignment. When you keep that simple truth in mind, criticism will be much easier to hear and deal with. It won’t be drowned out by the embarrassment that can accompany a personal criticism.

Treat Feedback as an Opportunity for Growth

If their feedback has merit, you can’t ignore it. If you truly want to strengthen your skillset, you need to take every opportunity you can to learn and grow. And feedback is one thing you can truly learn from. Denying feedback will only hurt yourself. You’ll cease to evolve, and your colleagues and superiors might start to think you’re a little too much of a lone wolf for company-wide collaboration. Instead, let the feedback help your career! Consider feedback as helpful advice and take that advice into careful consideration. Progress can be a slow process sometimes. With the right outlook, however, little bumps in the road can be the little boosts you need. Let the setback be the setup for your big comeback! 

Don’t Over-Apologize After Receiving Small Criticisms

Be receptive to your bosses feedback, but don’t over-do it. Apologize if necessary, but anything beyond a simple “I’m sorry, I’ll work on that for next time” is excessive. Don’t risk coming off as thin-skinned in front of your boss! Convey professionalism.

Don’t Agree with Their Feedback? Say Thanks!

Not all criticisms are given in good faith, and not all of them are helpful. When you hear someone’s criticism with an open mind, you’ll be able to determine whether there’s merit to the feedback. Regardless of merit, it is always best to let them know you acknowledge their perspective. Thank them for telling you. The fact that they risked an awkward conversation with you shows that they felt the feedback was worth sharing. And who knows, maybe in a few hours you’ll realize they were right!   Enjoyed reading our tips on how to handle workplace criticisms? Leave us a comment and let us know how you deal with negative feedback!