Nobody likes to get negative feedback, but how you choose to react is important. When someone gives you negative feedback, explicitly ask for some time to think things over and avoid any unnecessary confrontation.
Photo by Daniel Zedda.
Many of us have a tendency to get defensive when we receive negative feedback and that can turn even constructive criticism into an affront in our minds. That's why management consultant Dick Grote recommends asking for some time immediately after receiving it unless something can be done right on the spot:
It defuses the immediate situation. It tells the other person that you consider their feedback important enough that you want to consider it carefully and calmly. And it allows you to think through the accuracy of what you've been told, perhaps testing its validity with others. Saying something like, "I appreciate your feedback. I'd like to give what you've said some real thought and get back to you," and then adding, "Is there anything else I should know?" will demonstrate that you take what you've been told seriously and will ensure that there's been nothing left unsaid.
This helps lower any emotional tension there may be, and it keeps you from saying something you might regret. It also gives you time to consider what you were told. For example, whether what they said is fact or opinion, how accurate the it is, as well as the intention of the feedback. As difficult as it can be to hold yourself back, you're almost guaranteed to benefit from it. For more tips on how to receive negative feedback, check out the full article below.
How to Handle Negative Feedback [Harvard Business Review]