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Receiving feedback

Hopefully, most of the feedback you receive will be constructive and useful. Occasionally, though, you may feel that you are on the receiving end of unjustified criticism which attacks you on a personal level. If this happens it is important to:
  • Keep your temper
  • Stand up for yourself

And respond in calm, professional manner.

For example:

Criticism: You are really over the top sometimes at meetings with clients.

You: I object to being labeled as over the top. I take care to project a warm and friendly attitude to our clients and I think it is important to make people feel comfortable.

Criticism: You have been reckless with your budget

You: I object to being labeled as reckless. I have been extremely careful with every item of expenditure, and I have approved nothing that I can’t justify.

When the criticism is both totally unexpected and unjustified, use delaying tactics to help give both you and the other person time out to consider the situation.

For example:

Criticism: I never see you in the office these days – you are always driving off to see some client or the other in the sports car of yours.

You: I am sorry you think that. I would like to take a few minutes to think about those comments

Criticism: I sometimes wonder if you know how to deal with the people on your team

You: I am very surprised that you should say that. Can we discuss this later, when I have had a chance to think your comments through?

Receiving criticism

  • Don’t jump in and deny the criticism, without considering for a moment, whether or not it might be true
  • Don’t become angry and defensive
  • Don’t immediately respond with criticisms of your own
  • Do keep calm
  • Do pause, and think about what has been said
  • Do choose your words carefully
  • Do use delaying tactics, if you think that is appropriate

Excerpts from The University of Leicester Diploma in Management – Resource Development International (RDI) Jamaica.

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