1. Assume Good Intentions

Rarely is it the case that someone actually enjoys giving negative feedback. When approached by someone with negative feedback, assume that they are taking the time to give difficult information because they not only care about the work itself, but they also want to help make sure you are successful. When you assume good intentions, you are more open to hear what they are saying. 

4. Be Thoughtful With Words

Whether you are having a conversation in the moment, or following up after you have had time to reflect, it is imperative that you choose your words wisely. Stick to facts and demonstrate that you are taking their feedback into consideration. If you are challenging one of their critiques, calmly explain your position by saying, “I hear what you are saying, please allow me to explain”. 



2. Avoid Emotional Reactions

It is natural to go on the defensive when you feel your work is being picked apart, but you must understand it is not personal. At all cost you should avoid arguments even if you believe you are right. You cannot control what another person says or how they handle a situation, however you can control how you react. You must remain  calm and professional at all times. 

5. Always Follow Up

When given harsh feedback, it is likely that the person providing the feedback is looking for some action. Remember, you have assumed their good intentions, so thank them for taking the time to help you and offer to follow up with them in a reasonable amount of time with a plan of action. This shows a tremendous amount of personal accountability and professionalism. 



3. Take Time To Reflect

While it is important to respond and/or take action on the feedback, it is okay to use some time to reflect. It is perfectly reasonable to politely acknowledge that they have given you a lot of to think about, and you would like to reflect on their feedback so you can give it the attention it deserves. This not only gives you the opportunity to look at things with a fresh set of lenses, it also will prevent you from reacting in the moment. Time equals perspective.





Feedback Isn’t Always Formal:

Keep in mind that feedback can come in a variety of ways including a casual conversation, a quick comment, a formal review or through an email. Regardless of what medium is used to provide the feedback, the key is to focus on these 5 tips and you are sure to handle it well!
















Download the PDF