5 Tips for Handling Negative Feedback

Nobody enjoys a bad performance review at work.  However, there are ways to deal with it that are more constructive than just offering up a reflexive, defensive response.  Below we offer advice on how you can better prepare yourself to deal with negative feedback:

  1. Don’t Get Defensive.  When people are unpleasantly surprised by negative feedback, it’s not uncommon for them to become angry or argumentative.  However, responding in this way can give others the impression that you’re overly sensitive or immature.  Instead, try to remain calm and limit your emotional response.

  2. Ask Questions.  You’ll want to seek clarification to learn why your boss thinks that you merit this negative feedback.  Additionally, use this is an opportunity to discuss the expectations that your boss has of your work responsibilities and performance.  Productivity training consultant Garrett Miller suggests that you say something like, “When you say X, could you be more specific?” or “What evidence do you see?”

  3. Avoid Blaming Others.  When you point fingers at others, this typically has the effect of making you look worse, rather than better.  Instead, take responsibility and acknowledge your culpability, rather than blaming coworkers, interns, the admin staff, etc.

  4. Stick To The Facts.  When negative feedback is involved, things can get heated.  By sticking to the factual evidence, you can prevent yourself from responding emotionally and approach the feedback from a more constructive mindset.

  5. Learn From It.  Rather than viewing critical feedback from a negative perspective, think of it as an opportunity for growth.  If you can view it in this way, you can improve your work skills and show your manager how you used his feedback to strengthen your job performance.  Additionally, this behavior will make you appear mature, flexible, and cooperative—a plus for any employee.

Thought For The Day

“I don't believe in art. I believe in artists.”
Marcel Duchamp



Increase Your Productivity with These 5 Tips

Want to get more done in less time?  To wow the masses with how much you manage to accomplish?  Below we present our top tips for making the most of your day:

  1. Don’t Multitask.  We realize that this sounds counterintuitive.  Can’t you get more done by doing several things at once?  Unfortunately, the answer is no.  Studies show that multitasking actually reduces productivity by a whopping 40%!  Stick to one task, give it your full attention, and you’ll find that your productivity increases.

  2. Eliminate Distractions.  Rather than continually checking your texts and emails throughout the day, shut off your notifications and check voicemails, emails, and text messages at preappointed times during the day.  This helps you focus on the moment, getting more done.

  3. Outsource.  Sometimes it’s more efficient to hand off tasks to a freelancer or contractor.  Don’t have time to mow the lawn?  Need someone to run your social media accounts?  Consider hiring someone.  Oftentimes for a relatively small sum, you can find people to assume these tasks for you, giving you more time to devote to important projects that can’t be outsourced.

  4. Wake Up Earlier.  Ever have one of those days where you feel harried with all that you have to do?  That’s every day, right?  In the book, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, author and time management expert, Lisa Vanderkam, says that mornings are the key to controlling our schedules, experiencing greater happiness, and leading more productive lives.  Waking up earlier allows you to plan out the rest of your day, set a positive tone early on, and tackle critical tasks before your energy starts to flag.

  5. Take breaks.  Much like multitasking, this advice sounds counterintuitive.  Yet taking a break can often give us a fresh perspective and improve our focus when we return to work.  Every couple of hours or so, walk away from your desk for a few minutes—grab a cup of coffee, get a snack, spend a few minutes outdoors, etc.  These mini-refreshers will help you to return to work feeling reinvigorated.    

Thought For The Day

“There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.”
Marshall McLuhan



The Link between Gratitude and Career Success

It’s common for people to believe that they’ll be happy once some positive event occurs.  For instance, “I’ll be happy after I get that promotion,” or “I know I’ll feel better once I get my new car.”  However, when we feel positive—grateful even—in advance of the experience we’re waiting for, we actually improve our likelihood of having it.  Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, says that research confirms that happiness leads to our success, rather than the other way around.

In fact, Achor elaborates by adding, “Every single business and educational outcome improves when we start at positive rather than waiting for a future success.  Sales improve 37% cross-industry, productivity by 31%, you’re 40% more likely to receive a promotion, nearly 10 times more engaged at work, live longer…and much more.”

So, how can you take advantage of this information to improve your career success?  Below are some expert-recommended tips for feeling more grateful:

  • Keep A Gratitude Journal.  At the end of each day, write down a few things that you are grateful for.  Research shows that this 5-minute activity increases long-term wellbeing by 10% which is equivalent—happiness-wise—to doubling your income.

  • Vow to Practice Gratitude.  By merely writing down your gratitude oath (for example, “I vow to be thankful each day.”) and keeping it in a place where you’ll see it often, you increase the likelihood that you’ll practice gratitude.

  • Embrace Setbacks.  Happy people don’t bury their heads in the sand when negative events occur.  However, they do tend to view their challenges differently.  Rather than adopting a bitter outlook or a victimization mindset, they view things from the perspective of “What have I learned?” and “How did this experience help me to grow?”  Ultimately, gratitude researcher Dr. Robert Emmons says, “the key to leading a thankful life is embracing setbacks as part of your overall journey.”