Talking with a client yesterday about getting some negative feedback and helping her make sense and move on made me realise that you may find this helpful too.
The cues are often there, people can tell us what they think of our work in an ad-hoc and informal way. Be sensitive to this and you can make immediate changes that stop things getting more serious.
The feedback is not always spoken, sometimes it can be the other person being silent, or through their facial expression
We often don’t fully listen, we are focused on what we are going to say next. If you notice you are being given feedback, focus on hearing what is said, and aim to not be triggered by memories. It can help to notice and slow down your breathing and have an open posture, so make sure your arms aren’t folded in front of you.
Recognise how it makes you feel
For some people they feel angry and react accordingly. Other times people can feel guilt and shame and become upset. Noticing and naming your feelings can help you in how you respond. It may be to just listen and to say that you will come back to this later. Don’t respond if your emotions are roar.
It can be hard to take it all in. It can help to summarise what the other person has said and get confirmation that this is correct. Agree what they would like you to do differently.
Take some time
You don’t need to agree anything, and this is not the time for justification. Tell the speaker that this is important to you and that you would like some time to think it through and get back to them. If you are being pressurised, use the ‘broken record’ technique to repeat that you need time.
Be kind to yourself
It’s hard to receive negative feedback so take time to reflect on the feedback and to decide how much of it is true and what you will do differently. The feedback may be positive, and you may like to write this down so you can read it again.