NEW YORK (AP) — Whether it's a bad performance review or an unexpected scolding from the boss, negative feedback hits workers squarely in the ego.
It's never easy to hear that something is wrong with your work, your behavior or both. And maybe the criticism is unwarranted or unfair. But becoming angry or argumentative, which many people do, will only make matters worse.
Career consultants say there are ways to deal calmly with negative comments from the boss, and to turn painful feedback into a positive for your job and your career.
PUT YOUR EMOTIONS ON HOLD
When most people get negative feedback, their immediate reaction is to protect or defend themselves, said BJ Gallagher, a workplace consultant and author of "It's Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been." Workers want to prove the bosses wrong and convince them how hard they really work.
The key is to avoid those emotions, Gallagher said. Going on the defensive will only make you look uncooperative, get your boss angry and you won't get anything accomplished.
Instead, Gallagher recommended "throwing a circuit breaker" on your emotions and coming into any meeting with the intent to learn.
Keeping some of these recommendations in mind will help you get through the difficult period after the feedback lands.
— Try to just take in the information. But do ask yourself, "Is this true? Am I doing something I'm not aware of? Or is the boss just in a bad mood?"
— Ask questions. Make sure your boss gives you examples of the times when your performance wasn't up to par. Rumors fly in offices, and the feedback may not necessarily be accurate. If the boss says he or hears that you're frequently late or have a negative attitude toward certain tasks, ask for specific instances.