Nobody likes negative feedback. No matter the context of the words used, negative feedback strikes fear in most people's heart, including the top performers. But, no matter the fear, studies show that this kind of feedback makes people perform better and become successful in their respective careers. The reason is, people with negative feedback are willing to change quickly than those without one. They are eager to improve their feedback and their overall performance.
So then, why don't people ask for negative feedback if they are getting none from their employers? Criticism hurts. It is not easy when your boss or co-worker tells you that you are not perfect or about the stumbles you made in the just concluded important meeting. This kind of negative feedback can be diminishing or crushing.
Here is what the author of Insight: The Surprising Truth about How Others See Us, How We See Ourselves, and Why the Answers Matter More Than We Think, Tasha Eurich says when it comes to dealing with negative feedback:
"As part of a research program for my new book, Insight, my team conducted dozens of interviews with people who'd made dramatic improvements in their self-awareness. These participants reported frequently seeking critical feedback helped them improve. But they weren't necessarily fond of the experience!" The researched showed that "Where so many of us pressure ourselves to push past our emotions and respond right away, these highly self-aware people gave themselves days or even weeks to bounce back from difficult feedback before deciding what to do next."
Indeed, it is clear that not reacting right away is the key to bouncing back from negative feedback. Receiving negative feedback is not easy to handle. Cited by Eurich is William Swann, a prominent UT Austin psychology professor. According to him we "suffer the severe disorientation and psychological anarchy that occurs when [we] recognise that [our] very existence is threatened."
In other instances, an appropriate path can be disregarded as criticism altogether. Not all of your coworkers are your friends or are on your team. But the same people can offer an opportunity to look at what you are doing wrong. This path takes a lot of strength, but it will keep your ego out of the way and give you clarity. It will help you react at the right moment. The time when you've absorbed your criticism, and you can accurately determine the appropriate path forward. Your emotions won't affect your decision-making ability. Instead, they will help you become the best worker you can be.