Many people get defensive or sad when they’re criticized at work. In many cases, the workplace has no feedback culture in place and people are not trained to give or receive criticism in a constructive manner. Giving and receiving negative feedback constructively takes a lot of practice!

The best way to receive negative feedback well is to follow these 7 steps:

Actually, hear what’s being said. If necessary, ask questions to make sure you understand the criticism fully.

Assume good intentions
Unless proven otherwise, assume good intentions. Don’t automatically jump to the conclusion that the person criticising you is “out to get you.” Of course, sometimes they are. If so, see below.

 Do not get defensive and start making excuses.
Instead, you might say what you’ve learned and what you will do differently from now on.

 Don’t take it personally
Remember that they’re criticizing your work, not you as a person. Never take negative feedback about your work as a criticism of you as a person.

See criticism as help
Remember that all constructive feedback (including negative feedback) is a sign of interest and a sign that people want to help you do better. It would be far worse for people to notice you doing bad work and not say a word.

 Don’t be too hard on yourself
Remember that everyone makes mistakes and has things to learn. Yes, that includes you. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes, but making the same mistakes over and over because you refuse to listen to criticism and learn is just stupid.

 Say thank you
Thank the person for their feedback.

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