Smiling and learning from negative feedback

Just like in negative cricket comments come at us as bouncers. We run the risk of getting hurt if not handled well.

Here are a few points to help you handle:

  1. Duck: Learn to duck the bouncer emotionally. Avoid being hit (being upset).
    Treat the comment as a viewpoint of the person giving the negative comment/ feedback. Each person has a right to judge a situation or your behaviour using his own biases or preferences. It’s not a universal truth! This thought will help you accept the comment.
    2. Do not defend or challenge the comment. It can result in the giver making more comments justifying his comment and causing more pain. Like in cricket let the bouncer go past safely.
    3. Verbally repeat the comment received and asked the giver if this indeed is what he thought or believed. Verbal repetition will reinforce your acceptance that yes it’s a viewpoint of the other person.
    4. After a pause of two minutes, to allow your first emotions to settle, use your intellect to reflect on the comments.
    5. Hit: If you find some valid or acceptable points in negative comments, verbalize them. Negative comments are opportunities to learn and accept your faults or inappropriate behaviours. Use rational and unemotional words to express your views now.
    6. If you find nothing convincing in 5 above, move on to the next subject or action as if nothing happened.
    Forget the negative comment as soon as you can. Do not spend time planning a counter-attacking comment. Let life go on.

Feedback is breakfast of champions. Keep learning and moving on!

Accomplished cricketers learn to duck high bouncers to let them pass harmlessly. They hit bouncers at the right height to score. Managing negative comments is a skill you can learn by practising.

– by Narendra Ambwani for Zeus

Next: Management Lessons: From A Bicycle


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