Have you ever been told that your work isn’t good enough? Or that you need to improve? If you have, you’ve been subjected to negative feedback. Negative feedback is a normal part of any workplace, but understanding how to deal with it depends on the individual being criticized. As a contractor, you’ve probably faced your fair share of critiques over the years, and you’ve more than likely been the one directing negative feedback at others, too. When you’re confronted with negative feedback, you have two main options:
- You can deny the feedback and fail to improve
- Or you can accept it, implement it, and move on
This choice can have far reaching consequences as owners typically want to work with contractors who can get the best results out of their team while accepting criticism to get the job done the right way on the first go around. The Nashville contractor lawyers at Cotney Construction Law introduced the importance of negative feedback in part one of this four-part series. Now, we will discuss why we tend to avoid negative feedback at all costs.
Why Are We Opposed to Feedback?
Feedback is intended to improve behaviors that lead to improved performance while simultaneously eliminating those that limit productivity or stifle efficiency. And although negative feedback is inherently at-odds with what an individual perceives to be “the right way,” it is intended to improve subpar performances. In other words, negative feedback isn’t meant to be an indictment, it’s supposed to act as a form of guidance. However, years upon years of poorly expressed feedback has caused our society to fear this process and what it could mean for our success moving forward.
Perception is Everything
Your perception of owners, and your workers’ perception of you, are largely responsible for the rift that exists when distributing feedback. We often feel threatened by those in “superior” roles, so we shy away from dealing with them directly. In other words, when an owner meets with you to discuss a project, and you have not performed work at the level they expected, you feel like you have become prey to the owner who, in this hierarchy, feels like the predator. When we feel threatened, we don’t respond logically and we make mistakes. Therefore, the first and most important rule for dealing with negative feedback is to remain level-headed and impartial until you have accepted any and all critiques. If you start to internalize this feedback too quickly, you will threaten your view-of-self. This is dangerous because it can cause a dip in our perceived self-worth and affect many facets of our lives including those related to work, friends, and family.
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.