How to handle negative feedback

How to handle negative feedback without taking it personally

If you’re fresh to the world of work you might be in for a shock. Much of the encouragement and gentle correction you (hopefully) received at school is behind you. In business, employers have a lot more on their plate than helping you become an accomplished and fulfilled individual.

While some bosses understand that there are both business advantages and a moral imperative in investing in your personal development, you will likely find that in terms of feedback you mostly receive two types: negative, or none at all.


As long as human beings adhere to human nature, this probably isn’t going to change much. People are busy. People are self-interested. People lack social and professional skills that you would imagine are essential to their job description. If you want to succeed as a great professional and human being, then, a lot of the emphasis on personal development is going to be on you.

Learning not just to cope with negative feedback when it comes, but to actively seek it when nobody offers it is, is a mature and necessary skill for improvement. Unfortunately, negative feedback tends to come with a sting. But if you can figure out some mental mechanisms for dealing with that emotional blow, you can improve your workflow, progress to better jobs, and also become more adept at giving kind, useful feedback yourself.

For example, it is helpful to begin with your body. Your mind and emotions take a lot of cues from your physicality. Breathe slowly to keep yourself calm while receiving feedback, and stand or sit straight with your arms uncrossed. This will help you to feel confident and open, and signal the same to whoever is giving you feedback.

The people at CashNetUSA have created this full guide to dealing with negative feedback. It’s an essential tool in the belt of any professional, whether you’re new to the world of work or you’ve had plenty of tough bosses while studying.

How to handle negative feedback infographic

Do you have any more advice on how to handle negative feedback? Please let us know in the comments below.

Leave a Reply