How to Handle Negative Feedback at Work



Whether or not you have thick skin, receiving negative feedback can be tough. Throughout your career, you’ll be given feedback in some form or another from peers, clients, or managers. Constructive feedback is essential for professional growth. In addition, it can be valuable for advancing your career.


Discern what is valuable for personal growth.


Negative feedback can be extremely awkward and uncomfortable to take in. You put your all into your career and take pride in your work, so when it’s criticized, it can really sting your pride.


But let’s not get confused between constructive feedback and troll-like comments. It’s up to you to differentiate what’s valuable and what needs to be taken with a grain of salt.


I’m no pro at handling negative feedback. But over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to discern what’s helpful for my personal growth.


According to the Law of Detachment, wisdom lies in challenging times.


We all have the power to exercise our free will. Use your free will to practice detaching from situations that do not serve your highest good.


Rather than surrendering our power to our circumstances, we can take back our power by focusing on what we can control. Energy flows where attention goes.


What we can’t control takes consistent detachment.


It’s not a one time mindset switch. It takes consistent practice to energetically detach and shift our energy.


Remember, the path that you are on right now, this is where you’re heading to, but it’s within your control to change your future. Start to align your energy by releasing feelings of unfairness and resistance to change.


Begin to accept that what has happened has happened. The longer that you attach to a particular outcome, the longer those negative emotions will stick around.


Releasing the emotions is part of the process to turn negative vibes into positive fuel.


Receiving negative feedback can feel shameful even if it’s not personal.


As a yoga teacher, regardless of how much effort we put into teaching, there is no guarantee that every student will resonate with our teaching style.


At some point in our teaching career, we’ll run into some sort of resistance. The negative feedback may not be directly verbalized to us but a student may choose to discontinue taking our class.


Not too long ago, my ego took a hit.


I received an email from the fitness coordinator at a hospital where I teach prenatal yoga. She passed along a comment emailed to her from a student.


Although it was not specific as to what it was that the student did not like about my class, it was my first ever negative feedback. The comment was simply that my class was not fit for women who were expecting.



The fitness coordinator caveated the message with the fact that the hospital knew I was a solid yoga instructor and did not need to worry about the comment. They simply just wanted to follow through and let the student know that they passed the message along.


Breaking down the feedback.


I thanked the fitness coordinator for being the messenger and asked if there was anything specific mentioned by the student so that I could be more mindful during the next class. She said the comment was general and there was no further specifics.


I was surprised not because it was my first negative feedback, but it was so unexpected. Every group of prenatal yoga class that I taught has asked me if I would be open to teaching private lessons.


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How to Detach and Take a Leap of Faith


After each class, there is always one student telling me she feels so much better….be it her hips are less tight, her lower back feels better or she feels more relaxed.


I’ve also had students follow me to other yoga studios and gyms just to take my classes. Thus, it was such a shock to receive anything contrary to what I was used to hearing.


Feel it to heal it.


It’s ok to feel sad, mad or however you want to feel. Allow yourself to feel your emotions in order to process the negative feedback.


My thoughts raced to varying extremes. Should I stop teaching prenatal students? Was I unfit to even teach yoga? Am I going to get sue? I questioned all the positive feedback I ever received in my yoga classes.


I wondered who the student was. Was it the lady who kept getting up to drink water? Then I replayed the entire class sequence in my mind and wondered what went wrong.


Determine what’s in your control.


There could be a lot of reasons why the student relayed her thoughts to the fitness coordinator. After all, it was a one-line general statement. Perhaps she did not feel particular poses were safe.


Or maybe she felt the class was too difficult. Perhaps she wanted a full refund and needed to make a strong argument. Who knows because there was no specific issue that was brought up.


It was probably for the best that I didn’t know which student it was. I didn’t even know if she stopped coming to the class as my class size was fairly large and not all students were able to be consistent with coming to classes each week.


Thus, I continued to teach the following prenatal class to the best of my ability. I chose not to focus and hold on to that one comment. I was definitely more mindful but did not alter my teaching style just to try to make sure each student liked me.


I knew that was not in my control. Interestingly enough, I received more positive feedback after each class.


Seeing the hidden opportunity.


There were so many lessons learned on resiliency from this brief experience. If you ever cross this bridge, remember that not everyone is going to resonate with you.


And that’s a good thing! How boring would life be if everyone felt the same way about everything?


There would be less opportunities to expand on the personal and professional level. As a collective conscious, we need differences in opinions in order to learn from one another and grow.


After all, life is about the journey, not the destination.


The key is to manage your perception. See, every challenging experience has a silver lining. It’s just up to you to use it to grow.


So rather than reacting to a negative feedback, see if there is opportunity for growth. If there really is not, then practice the law of detachment. There is no use in taking on negative feedback personally.


When it comes to handling challenges, the law of detachment can do a lot of the heavy lifting for us. The moment we detach from how we want an outcome to turn out is the moment Universe can start getting to work.


Part of co-creating with the Universe requires active allowance.


I’m not talking about patiently waiting around for something to happen, but rather actively allowing the Universe to do its part in configuring what is not in your control.


When you actively allow, you are being open to receive signs, symbols and synchronicities from the Universe to guide you towards the next steps. Furthermore, by tapping into your intuition, you are better able to receive messages from the Universe.


When you detach from a particular outcome, you create space to receive guidance from the Universe. You also are better able to shift your focus from anxious thoughts to faith and hope.


In turn, this creates space for positive energy flow as you align your energy to a higher vibration. Be sure to apply the law of detachment on your journey to achieve financial freedom!

Feeling stuck in your career?


It may be time for a change. Pivot your career to align with your ideal lifestyle. After all, having a fulfilling career can be a big part of living a meaningful life.


Changing jobs within the same industry can be challenging. Pivoting to a new industry can be even tougher and take longer.


So what do you do to shorten the lengthy process of job searching?


Step aside, James Bond. Allow me to handle this question with a Pintastic solution.


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