What to Do When You Get Negative Feedback at Work

first_imgGetting negative feedback is never easy—even if you know it’s coming. Even worse, being blindsided when you think you’re doing a great job can be a major confidence hit. But here’s the thing: Pretty much everyone gets constructive criticism at some point during their career. This included the most successful people you know.  In fact, the best managers are ones who are able to let you know in a friendly but firm way exactly how you can improve, take your work to the next level, and better manage your responsibilities. In a sense, getting negative feedback can actually be a good thing, even though it might not feel like it at the time. Here, we asked HR pros to tell us exactly how to handle the moments, days, and weeks after receiving negative feedback, plus how to take it all in stride. 1. Don’t take it personally.Yes, you’ve probably heard this advice before, but there’s a reason for that. “Often, employees take negative feedback to mean their leader doesn’t like them,” says Krishna Powell, executive coach and HR consultant. Most of the time, this is not the case at all. “Feedback is given because your leader sees you have the ability to do better, to become greater, or to master your skillset,” she notes. When you think of it that way, it’s actually sort of like a compliment. Of course, that doesn’t make it easier to hear, but focusing on the fact that your boss knows you can perform at a higher lever can help you see that negative feedback is actually not the worst thing in the world. “The most important thing to remember is feedback gives the receiver power. Power to manage perceptions because feedback can tell you how people view you. Power to become better or stronger because feedback reveals your area of weakness. And feedback can give you power to control your career because it can redirect the path you’re on.” It’s natural to be bummed out at first, but with some mental reframing, you can get to a much more positive place.6 Leadership Skills You Never Knew You Needed2. Make sure you’re totally clear on the issue. Most managers don’t enjoy giving negative feedback, so a conversation about your performance that’s less than glowing might be on the shorter side. Add into that your potential emotional response, and there’s a lot of room for miscommunication. “Sometimes it’s difficult to listen and to retain everything you hear in a meeting when your emotions may be off-kilter,” explains Jana Tulloch, C.P.H.R., HR Manager for Develop Intelligence. This is a good opportunity to practice active listening to make sure you and your boss are understanding each other clearly. “Try restating the issue back to your manager to confirm you’re on the same page about the issue and what is expected going forward. This provides an opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings, as well as ask any questions,” she says. The last thing you want is to be working away on correcting the wrong issue. 3. If you disagree, do so with tact. It’s a common response to immediately feel defensive after receiving negative feedback, and the truth is that mistakes do happen. In feedback situations, however, they don’t happen that often, so it’s important to make sure you’re definitely being critiqued in error before saying that you believe the feedback you’re getting is wrong. First, be completely sure that you understand the feedback that’s been given and the reasoning behind it. If you’re confident that the negative feedback was given in error and you decide to say something about it, “it is imperative that you push back with diplomacy and tact,” says Tawanda Johnson, CEO of RKL Resources, a national Human Resources Consulting firm. “Supervisors are often juggling many hats and sometimes things fall through the cracks. They are human. Strong supervisors will own up to their mistakes and will thank the employee for bringing something to their attention.”What Is Emotional Intelligence, and Why Everyone Needs It4. Show initiative ASAP.If the feedback is not wrong, the best thing you can do moving forward is come up with a plan to fix the problem. Take initiative and show you care about improving. “If you want to continue to grow in your career, either within your current company or with another, you should respond back to your supervisor within a couple of days,” says Dorris Hollingsworth, President of Evergreen HR Group, an HR and business consulting firm in the Atlanta market. “Ideally, you will have some time to think about the feedback and identify one or two things you can do to address the issues raised.” For example, if you’ve been told you need to improve your communication style, then you might talk to a peer about how they communicate on their work projects and then compare that information to what you normally do. Then, share your findings with your boss. “Let your supervisor know that you have looked at other ways to communicate with a team and plan to adopt some of the methods in your work,” says Hollingsworth. “Lastly, put it into practice.”5. Think about the long game. It’s a good idea to follow up in a more long-term way, as well, since often it takes some work to make real change in habits. “After 30 to 60 days, I always recommend people follow up on the negative feedback they have received,” says Powell. “You should say something like, ‘I have given a great deal of thought to the feedback you have given me and I have made the following changes,’” she suggests. This shows that you took the feedback to heart and importantly, that you care about improving. Chances are, if you’re committed to making a change, some very positive feedback awaits in your next performance review.last_img read more

Member of the week: Sharon Siegel, Interior Designer

first_imgOur member of the week is Sharon Siegel. Sharon is an interior designer, specializing in Feng Shui and space clearing for both homes and offices. She works with clients to maximize the harmony and energy of their spaces. Take a look at Sharon’s website, which is a great marketing tool that includes pictures of the work she has done and testimonials from her clients. Also check out her profile on our yellow pages to find out more about her background, and our interview below to hear about her experiences as a freelance interior designer.1. What has been your most interesting project?My most interesting project was the opportunity to help with the interior design and furniture placement for 400 apartments in Manhattan, in two different buildings. I worked with the owner of the buildings, assisting her in selecting the furniture for all the studios, one, and two bedroom apartments, to create a unified look and harmonious atmosphere. These apartments were being sold as condos fully furnished. I was asked to visit on site and interpret the character of the individual spaces, and to determine the furniture placement. The project took almost one year. It was amazing2. Why did you decide to go freelance?I decided to go freelance since I love the work that I am doing. This gave me the opportunity to pick and chose the projects, the people I want to work with, and also the freedom to do advanced studies and also to start teaching.3. What tip would you give to a new freelancer or someone who is considering going freelance?Be totally committed to what you love to do. Spend time doing the research and studying, and it will come. The work will start to come at a steady pace.4. What is your favorite spot in the city in which you live?Right now I am living in West Harlem, which is very up and coming. I also love the West Village.5. What is your inspiration?My inspiration is that every day of my life I get to create harmony through design in the lives of people for their homes, offices, retail stores and spas. It has been very exciting to see the final results and how they affect people’s lives.last_img read more

ASA Director Asks for Adequate and Timely Rail Service at Surface Transportation

first_imgAmerican Soybean Association (ASA) Director Lance Peterson joined other concerned growers in Fargo, N.D. today at a public hearing before the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to testify on rail service issues and the negative impacts on soybean growers. Also testifying for soybean growers at the hearing was Eric Broten, representing the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association.As the backlog of rail cars in the upper Midwest continues, many elevators are still full of 2013-crop grain ahead of a looming 2014 harvest. This backlog negatively affects basis levels and cash bids, and could create a grain storage crisis as a new crop harvest begins.Peterson, a soybean farmer from Underwood, Minn., represented ASA and the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association at the hearing, and re-emphasized points he made at a previous STB hearing in the spring.“The message that I delivered was that inadequate rail service through delays and increased freight costs is not just a business challenge, but creates massive losses which are passed directly on to the agricultural producer—the farmer.  I stated that my lost income would likely exceed $100,000, as one producer,” Peterson said. “I also stated that with thousands of producers across the upper Midwest losses could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.  Unfortunately these tremendous losses have now been confirmed.  A recently released report from the University of Minnesota shows lost Minnesota farm income of $100 million from March to May of 2014.”Peterson said the rail industry discussions in the spring centered on slow shipments due to the coldest winter in 30 years and assured correction before the 2014 harvest. But now, half way through the wheat harvest there’s still an abundance of last year’s crops that have not been moved, grain bin companies are so busy they can’t take any more business and farmers are in a difficult position of adding storage to avoid piling grain on the ground during this year’s harvest.“The rail problems of the last year have grain shippers trying to figure out how to navigate through this year.  In many cases shippers have spent millions of dollars in premiums on initial rail car auctions to access rail cars for the coming year,” Peterson said during his testimony. “Based on expected car movement, this amounts to an approximate $700/car premium just to access the cars.  If grain movement is not adequate, shippers will be forced to look to the secondary market to acquire additional cars. The asking price for October/November shipments is currently more than $4,000/car.  It is imperative that rail movement is adequate and timely.”Peterson also said knowing the movement, velocity and turn-around time of the grain cars is helpful, but not enough. He requested fuller reporting of rail service, asking the STB to require railroads to submit metrics showing past dues, average days late, turnaround times, etc. for agricultural customers vs. crude oil customers and other customers.“This information would help to give a clear picture of railroad service issues.  Based on the size and scope of the rail shipment problems being faced in the upper Midwest this is not too much to ask,” Peterson said. “Farmers are suffering losses of hundreds of millions of dollars through increased basis levels, lower cash market prices, and storage losses because of the current rail situation in the upper Midwest.  Requiring full disclosure of rail movements will give rail shippers, policy makers, and the STB itself a much clearer view of the situation as we work with the railroads on solutions.”Click here to read full testimony.last_img read more