Let’s face it, nobody is particularly fond of being critiqued by others. Whether that person is a friend, coworker, superior, or someone else entirely, people tend to be happier when their skills, behavior, and results aren’t being questioned by a third party. Unfortunately, criticism is a commonality on the construction site, and that’s not changing anytime soon.
If you want to succeed, you need nerves of steel and a thick outer skin; otherwise, you’ll quickly succumb to the pressure of an industry that prides itself on results. It’s unlikely that you will be able to completely avoid negative feedback throughout your tenure in the construction industry, so you have to make an important decision: will I let negative feedback affect my performance? Or will I rise to the occasion and use negative feedback to improve my performance?
In this four-part series, the construction lawyers at our Nashville construction law firm will explore an array of useful techniques for dealing with negative feedback in the construction industry. If you want to reach your potential, you need to know how to take criticism and turn it into a driving force for your success.
Why Feedback is Vital
Think about the last time you were on the project site surveying your team’s work. When you observed tasks done correctly, did you give positive feedback to your team? Chances are you did, because you know that positive reinforcement is an effective tool for inspiring your team to continue operating at a high level.
Conversely, when you noticed things that had been handled incorrectly—personal protective equipment being worn inappropriately, tools being improperly stored, heavy machinery being operated by the wrong workers—you probably felt an urgent need to correct these behaviors using negative feedback. Although negative feedback can make your workers feel like there is a target painted on their backs, the outcome is largely the same as positive feedback: to inspire your team to operate at a high level and avoid similar mistakes moving forward.
You Don’t Need to Like It, You Just Have To Deal With It
Negative feedback is a normal part of life that you just have to deal with. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of negative feedback, you need to keep in mind that the overarching goal is to improve overall performance so you can deliver the best possible results by the end of your project timeline. Of course, excessive and poorly directed criticism can drive a wedge between you and your team, but if you provide negative feedback with intent (and accept it with understanding) you will find yourself better off in the end.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.