Updated May 2023

Whether it's a bad review on a ratings site, or negative feedback about your job performance, evaluation can hurt. That's why a lot of us don't even ask for evaluative input or ignore it when we get it.

But if we take a second to let the sting subside and analyze the content of the message, there's often something of value there. Something we can use to improve.

It's not about refuting, it's about reacting.

Grabbing that kernel, that tiny insight, and acting on it can have big impact. If the issue's easily resolved, resolve it. If it's thornier, develop an action plan and start working on it. And share that. Show people the results of your immediate actions and decisions, and explain the plan to you have to fix the bigger stuff. Keep them informed about your progress until you reach your goal.

Accepting constructive criticism (even if you have to mine it from un-constructive intentions) actually creates a competitive advantage. So few of our colleagues and competitors do this that those of us who do improve performance, increase loyalty, drive positive word of mouth, and more.

So next time negative feedback comes your way, rethink your response, and if there's something useful in there, use it!

Here are your steps:

  1. Acknowledge the input (people want to feel heard)
  2. Look for legitimate information
  3. Act
  4. Share progress/results

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