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How to react to negative feedback

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Negative feedbackAlthough everyone likes to hear compliments and accolades, you learn more from criticism. If you can properly accept constructive criticism, you’ll be able to grow and move your career forward. Shavon Lindley, writing at Forbes, offers these suggestions for using feedback to improve your performance.

Listen carefully. It can be hard to hear negative feedback, and your first reaction will probably be to give an explanation or defense. Instead of planning your rebuttal, take the time to listen with an open mind. Even if you think the criticism is undeserved you can still learn something from it.

Pause and take a deep breath. Don’t immediately jump into your response. Take a moment to process the feedback and consider what you’d like to say. This will give you a chance to think about what was said and can stop you from saying something you’ll regret.

Don’t make assumptions. Negative feedback doesn’t automatically mean your job is in jeopardy or that your boss hates you. Ask questions to clarify anything you don’t understand, even if you need to think about it for a day or two first.

Ask someone else for advice. Talk to a trusted peer or mentor who can help you sort out what went wrong. An outsider might be able to give you a new perspective that will help you turn the criticism to your advantage.

Act on the feedback. Don’t push it aside and hope it goes away. Ask your boss if you can have a follow-up meeting to discuss how you can make changes. It will show that you want to learn from the situation and do a better job next time.

— Adapted from “Five Tips On How To Leverage Criticism To Propel Your Career Forward,” Shavon Lindley, Forbes.

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