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Performance Management in the Workplace | Wood Personnel

How to Become More Comfortable with Negative Feedback At Work

When your performance is being reviewed at work, there’s always the chance you’ll receive negative feedback. Though it can be uncomfortable to take, negative feedback is actually good—and can help you become better at what you do.

How to Handle Negative Feedback

It’s all in your mindset. Follow these tips to help you learn and grow from constructive feedback on your work and performance:

  • Don’t attach the feedback to your self-esteem. Always remember, the feedback you receive is not personal. It is meant to help you improve and it has no bearing on you overall as a person. You are the same person that you were when you walked into the room (or answered the phone).
  • Listen closely to fully understand. Since this feedback is meant to help you improve, be sure you clearly understand what you’ve been doing that isn’t quite right. Ask questions for clarification if you need to.
  • Ask about next steps. If you’re not sure how to make improvements, ask for suggestions. This could include talking to someone who knows more about the topic, reading a resource to learn more, or taking a class.
  • Feel fortunate to have the opportunity to improve. Think about it – if all you ever hear is how great everything is going, there is no room for improvement. And we can always get better and improve on our skills. So when you receive feedback, you have the valuable insight and chance to get even better at what you do.

Recognize a Toxic Environment

Of course, feedback is only helpful when it’s constructive. If you feel that your work environment has become overly judgmental and even toxic—it may be time for a change. When feedback seems to be more a matter of personal opinion than based on facts, that could be a clue. It’s also a clue when the feedback does actually get personal (and even borders on harassment). Never be afraid to involve your Human Resources department when you truly feel uncomfortable.

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