3 Clever Ways To Accept Negative Feedback Without Feeling Insulted

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Receiving negative feedback is not easy. It can hurt your feelings and make you mad. If you are not careful, you can get hostile and even revengeful.

On the other hand, you cannot get to the next level of success without either positive or negative feedback.

Now, this is not about positive feedback. No one has a problem receiving positive feedback. It’s what we want to hear.

But, imagine what would happen if your destination is Miami, Florida and you are heading north on the highway?

Without the feedback you are moving in the wrong direction, you would never make any progress.

It all comes down to this:

If you are stuck and not progressing, it’s because you are not getting enough negative feedback. It’s because you are not aware of what you are doing right or wrong.

More often than not, arrogance is why most people resist negative feedback. Some people are too cocky to admit they may be wrong. They think they have all the answers.

When I first came to the United States of America, I had one pair of pants, two shirts, and five dollars. I didn’t speak any English.

I would never be able to learn English without constant negative feedback.

Some people would laugh at me when I butchered the English language. Others would politely correct me.

The simple truth is…

You cannot increase your effectiveness by leaps and bounds if you are not open to negative feedback.

Here Are 3 Simple Ways To Receive Negative Feedback Without Grudges
1- Swallow Your Pride

If you think you are your mistakes, it’s your ego playing tricks on you. Negative feedback doesn’t mean you are dumb or unintelligent.

Your value and self-importance will increase proportionally with the amount of negative feedback you gracefully embrace.

Let me explain what I mean.

The more you improve, the more valuable you become to society. And you cannot improve without negative or positive feedback. You need both.

Tell yourself, “I will gracefully accept or reject feedback without grudges. I’m not and will never be what others think about me.”

My ability to get on a stage, connect with any audience, and create a lasting impact is because of negative feedback.

When I first started speaking, I delivered a motivational keynote I thought was great. Then the feedback forms arrived in the mail.

One lady gave me a devastating review. I was hurt. My ego was bruised. It took me a moment to recover.

The lady said my speech was too narcissistic. It was all about me, me, and me.

I reevaluated the speech. She was right.

I hired a speaking coach to help me make the speech more about the audience.

As a result, my value as a speaker went up. I started charging more.

If I allowed my arrogance to stand in my way for too long, I would continue to be a lousy speaker.

2- Be Selective About Who You Ask

Let’s face it. Some people don’t give you negative feedback because they care.

Often, they have an agenda. They want to tear you down or deflate your self-esteem. Do not allow yourself to be their victim.

Don’t take it personally.

Mean people will always be mean. They will always be among us. Don’t let them distract you.

Yes, I’m advising to be more open to negative feedback. But, that doesn’t mean you have to own the feedback either. Just say, “Thank you.” Then, mentally toss it.

3-Ask A Future Based Question

Before I jump into the details, let me remind you that feedback is about the past. And you cannot undo the mistakes of the past.

To do better in the future, we must ask two questions:
a) How did I make this mistake?
b) What can I do to improve?

With that in mind, you need to ask the person giving the feedback for suggestions on how to do better in the future. If the individual cannot give you at least one or two ideas, be cautious.

Chances are, the person is not qualified to give you feedback, or there’s an agenda.

Think about it this way:

If others are thoughtful enough to give you some feedback, they should be thoughtful enough to think how you can better.

Ask this question: “Do you have any suggestions on how I can do better in the future?”

In fact, you can discard everything I shared with you so far and run with that question.

Take a big notebook and start asking suggestions on how you can improve. Write down every idea without judgment. Just say, “Thank you for sharing.”

Some suggestions will be precious, and others will be worthless.

Conclusion

There’s only one way to get to the next level of success in life. Ask for feedback.

Don’t wait for others to voluntarily share their feedback with you. It may never happen.

Proactively ask your boss, “How am I doing?” As soon as he or tells you, ask, “What can I do to improve?”

Ask the last question even if they tell you that you are doing great.

You say, “Thank you for letting me know I’m doing great. But, if there’s one thing I can do to get better, what would you suggest?”

If you are the manager, ask the same questions to all your team members.

Ask your husband, wife, children, friends, customers, and business partners the same questions.

Be a feedback collector.

But, beware of player haters. If you have any inkling that their intention is to bring you down, skip them. Or politely thank them.

Then let their feedback roll off you like water off a duck’s back. Move on!

motivational keynote speaker

Rene Godefroy
Legendary Motivational Speaker,
Self-help Expert, And
Humanitarian

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