By: Nicole Booz
Many employees find receiving feedback, especially negative feedback, an uncomfortable experience. It’s a necessary evil to help us grow in our careers and to become better at our jobs. Remember, a boss who takes the time to narrow down where your work performance needs improvement cares about you and your growth in the workplace.
Feedback is a two-way street and requires you to incorporate the feedback into your performance in order to be meaningful. Some of us may see negative feedback as an attack on our character, but worry not, it is merely a chance for improvement.
Some feedback may be difficult to swallow, however, the actions you take following your performance review will lead to a better review the next time around.
Here are a few examples of negative feedback you may receive and how to incorporate it into your job:
Feedback 1: Your response to emails is slow and sometimes holds up the projects your team is working on.
The lesson: Chances are you aren’t the only kink in the line, but it’s important to note if your responses could be quicker. Do you only check your email twice per day? Maybe you need to do it more often, especially when work is busy.
You: Let your boss know if there is anything slowing your response down (i.e. you are waiting on someone else to send you a document), and then begin responding to emails quickly and efficiently.
Feedback 2: When customers have a problem and come to you, you can be short with them and have an uninviting presence.
The lesson: Stress from your personal life is coming to work with you, and it’s showing. Working in customer service isn’t for everyone, but when you’re interacting with customers, you are the face of the company.
You: Immediately change your attitude. If your boss has pointed out a negative vibe from you, trust them that it’s visible in your interactions. Meditate for a few minutes before you start your shift to clear your mind, turn your phone off while at work, and eliminate any personal distractions so you can focus on being your best with customers.
Feedback 3: Your reports from last quarter were late and lacking in detail.
The lesson: You did not complete your job to your employer’s satisfaction. This is often the toughest kind of feedback to receive, and it’s hard not to take it personally.
You: This is the perfect opportunity to schedule a meeting with your boss to go over your job description and to learn how to properly do the task at hand. It may be the case that you didn’t know you were responsible for something and it was lost in translation. See this as a pivotal change for growth.
To make the most of negative feedback, there are a few things you can do to be prepared:
1) Keep a list while you’re in the meeting, and make sure to ask for a copy of your boss’ notes following the meeting if they don’t provide you with any documentation.
2) Make a chart of the negative aspects of your performance and include a “solution” column to keep track of what you will do to turn the negative feedback into positive behavior.
3) Don’t overthink it. Your boss means well with his or her comments regarding your performance.
4) Most times feedback is not a personal attack, so avoid taking it as such. If it makes you angry or upset, it’s best to wait a few days until you see things more clearly before bringing the issue back up with your manager.
5) If the negative feedback is general, ask your boss for clarification or a specific example. That should help you better understand the situation and how you can react more appropriately next time.
If you are only receiving positive feedback, chances are your employer is not concerned with your growth as an employee. Don’t be afraid to ask for negative feedback, or how you could improve.
On the flip side, you may find yourself on the receiving end of petty feedback, such as a continuous flow of things like “you don’t interact enough with other employees” or “you take on too much responsibility, let someone else have it for a change.” Recognize this when it happens and take your concerns to another superior. No one deserves to be treated rudely in the workplace.
When it comes to receiving feedback at work, it’s usually an uncomfortable experience. But instead of viewing it as you’ve done something wrong, see it as a chance to be better and improve. After all it is improvements and results lead to promotions.
Image courtesy of shirophoto/freedigitalphotos.net
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief at GenTwenty. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.S. in Psychology. In her free time she enjoys exploring local markets, planning her next vacation, and reading any book she can get her hands on. VisitNicoleBooz.com to meet Nicole. Or, follow her on Twitter: @NicoleBooz and Pinterest: NicoleBooz