This time we look at how to receive positive or negative comments and issue during a review.

JAY: Unless the negative feedback is disrespectful or abusive, I try to receive negative feedback as a developmental gift. Not as a nagging reminder that I’m not perfect or infallible (which is not emotionally intelligent thinking in any case), but as a natural guide along the continuum of professional development. Rather than expecting or even desiring “brutal” feedback, I try to receive areas for improvement with optimism and place value on praise I receive. It’s an opportunity.

Negative feedback is not more valid or “serious” than positive feedback. I tend to grow in myself what has attention paid to it. If I am doing well, and my reviewer tells me so, then that best practice will tend to deepen and grow but only if I take in the good feedback as maturely and openly as I do the tougher feedback.

For me, it’s often harder to hear and accept the praise. Far from being virtuous modesty, this holds the danger of preventing me from growing. Beating myself up or hearing only the negative stuff in the review will likewise immobilize me and damage my morale, making overcoming the challenges far less likely. I’ve found that an open, optimistic attitude begets stronger reviews down the line, as well as greater respect from my reviewers during and after the conversation.

For more information on how to approach a performance appraisal effectively, from both the point of view of a reviewee and reviewer, click here.

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