The Right Way to Respond to Negative Feedback | Extraordinary Business

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Have you ever had the experience when everything seemed to be going well and you felt you were doing a fantastic job, only to have that perception come to an abrupt halt when someone asks you, “Are you open to receiving some constructive feedback?”  That very question can often be a trigger that releases the “no so nice” aspects of our personality if we aren’t disciplined enough to remain objective and calmly listen to the feedback BEFORE reacting to it.

I know, because I’ve been there.  Early in my career it was hard to hear the answer to that question because I was trying so hard to excel and prove myself and didn’t want to be perceived as anything other than exceptional.  It wasn’t until many years later that I grew to appreciate the “feedback” question as I saw the value the information provided to improve my performance or my relationships in wonderful ways.

Not to mention, as I’ve gotten older I’ve also grown in wisdom to measure the feedback of the person giving it based on what I know about their personality, their life experiences, and our overall relationship.  We all have filters that can distort a situation without our even realizing it, and much grace has to be given to those whose feedback stems from previous “old wounds” from others which actually has very little to do with our present day feedback conversation.

Tasha Eurich wrote a great article about “The Right Way to Respond to Negative Feedback” in the Harvard Business Review.  Like me, she also believes feedback is a gift.  In the article Eurich states, “Negative feedback in particular can be valuable because it allows us to monitor our performance and alerts us to important changes we need to make. And indeed, leaders who ask for critical feedback are seen as more effective by superiors, employees, and peers, while those who seek primarily positive feedback are rated lower in effectiveness.”

In her article Eurich provides 5 great suggestions for how to respond to negative feedback and shares a few stories about her experience in helping her clients learn to do it well.  I encourage you to take a few minutes to read through it here.


If you or someone on your team is struggling with receiving feedback – or if the refusal of that feedback is negatively impacting your team – we have a great leadership program that can help.   Aepiphanni Ascend is a fantastic resource to help your leadership team to examine every part of their business management and assist them to become more efficient and effective as a team.  Interested in learning more?  Fill out the form below and we’ll set up a complimentary conversation to chat in more detail about your specific situation.

Kris Cavanaugh Castro is the People Development Coach at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth.  Kris has over 25 years of coaching, training and mentoring leaders to greater success; and she periodically writes about leadership development and facilitates change management conversations.

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