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Resource: Career Advice
How Negative Feedback Can Actually Help You
Friday, February 01, 2013

Every worker feels differently about receiving negative feedback, or it's more common term, constructive criticism. This kind of constructive feedback, however, is necessary for work performance improvement and those that step up to offer it are doing you a favor.

As unenjoyable as they are to listen to, negative comments are effective in providing a real sense of your work performance and what others think will help you. It's not a good move to react defensively or take the feedback as a personal attack. Moving up in your career is bound to come with challenges so it's important to grow a thick skin in order to handle these moments.

Those who take negative feedback and turn it into a positive are those who most likely to achieve career advancement. Here are some tips to help you turn negative feedback into positive action:

1) Accept it for what it is.
Constructive criticism is a way to tell you that something needs some changes. Be open to embracing any feedback that is offered to you, both good and bad. Take notes on what your boss or colleague said to you and think of solutions for each point. Use it as a guide to redirect your plan of action. Focus on ways to improve your skills and become a better, more knowledgeable employee.

2) Bad news, good advice.
Negative feedback is the first step is making productive changes which later produce positive results. It's rare that you'll find someone eagerly volunteering to be the bearer of bad news keep in mind that that anyone who does it for your sake truly has your best interest in mind. The criticism is about your work, not you as a person. No one is perfect in what they do, but those who are open to constructive feedback are in a better position to be the best at what they do.

3) Take it as an opportunity to speak up.
If you feel like you've been misunderstood in any way by your co-workers or boss, take this chance to open up dialogue. The feedback should turn into a two-way conversation. Share your goals and objectives for to let others know of your agenda. Clearing up any possible misconceptions will be more motivation for you to prove your competencies in this role.

4) Do a self-evaluation.
Your boss may have only mentioned one or two things that could use some attention but that doesn't mean there aren't other areas that could do with some tweaking. Do a personal review of your work and ask yourself whether you gave it 100 percent. These could even be simple changes in things such as your attitude approach or certain habits that lower your productivity.

5) Prove yourself to yourself.
The most important reason to make positive changes from negative feedback is for you and your career. It's easy for the average worker to do what is expected in order to maintain the status quo, but those with a persistent drive are more enthusiastic when it comes to making positive change. Take a proactive role in your career by reaching out to others for their advice to move up in the ranks, even if that means seeking out the negative feedback. Chances are your future self will be thanking you.