Women in Technology

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Dealing with Negative Feedback

  • 1.  Dealing with Negative Feedback

    Posted Apr 17, 2017 01:28 PM
    Edited by Amber Bell Apr 17, 2017 01:30 PM
    I wanted to share my new blog post: Moving Forward: How-To Deal with Negative Feedback

    I remember attending a Women in Dynamics lunch discussion at GPUG Summit 2015. There were a few books recommended. One that I read was called "The Confidence Code". I realized that I did let negative comments hold me back. I still remember (word-for-word) a comment a co-worker made years ago when I expressed an interest in learning a new skill.

    I am a lot better than I was...but it is really hard to avoid the pitfall of forgetting all the good things people say about you when one person says something mean...especially if they hit on the nerve of something you are already self-conscious or worried about.

    I think my big take away in life is to work on not letting negativity from someone else limit what I am willing to try. If I give up trying new things to avoid negative feedback, I am giving that person more control than they deserve.

    Any thoughts? Has someone's negative feedback kept anyone else from reaching out for a bigger job or some other goal?

    I know for me, it kept me from asking for raises or for more responsibility or a better title at my last job.




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    Amber Bell
    Owner
    Training Dynamo LLC
    Derby CT
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  • 2.  RE: Dealing with Negative Feedback

    Posted Apr 18, 2017 10:18 AM
    This is great! I love your blog post.

    As someone with a lot of nervous, quirky tics, I get what you're saying about putting it out there in advance! I tend to mention my hands when speaking in front of groups, like "Don't pay any attention to my hands - they have a mind of their own!" I have come to recognize that when I am in the AX zone, I am not really paying much attention to what my hands are doing, and yes, I have been told that they are distracting.

    One of the worst for me was feedback last year after a session that my co-presenter and I were "bantering back and forth too much and we needed to stay focused." So, what do I do? Focus in on that one comment. Didn't matter that it was a high scoring session and all of the other comments about us were amazing like "Those two have great chemistry!" or "I really like how the presenters went back and forth."

    After some reflection, I realized that there will never be 100% satisfaction. Maybe that person was in a mood that day. Some people just need to complain (we all have that one co-worker...). Maybe our presentation style was not conducive to that person's learning style. I know I have been to some stinkers of presentations and left feedback that wasn't entirely positive because that presentation didn't do anything for me. I decided not to let it hold me back and will be presenting again this year at Summit.

    It's hard not to take negative feedback personally, but the goal of feedback is that it's there to help you get better. Granted, some comments and some people are just mean. Receiving criticism is part of putting yourself out there, and not all of it is going to be nice. Look at famous actresses. Who gets more negative criticism than a famous actress? People feel free to make comments on what they wear, their weight, their hairstyle, how they raise their kids, etc. It takes a special kind of person to let all of that negativity roll off the back.

    Kudos to you for addressing it head on and keeping a positive attitude. Your post is inspiring!

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    Kelly Kane
    AXUG Kentucky Chapter Leader
    AXUG 2016 All Star | AXUG Board Member
    Manager, Information Systems
    Algood Food Company
    Louisville KY
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  • 3.  RE: Dealing with Negative Feedback

    Posted Apr 18, 2017 05:56 PM
    Edited by Kathy Kim Apr 18, 2017 05:57 PM
    Amber - thank you for posting this.  After my first Summit presentation, I received some very positive feedback, but also some negative feedback (primarily that I talk WAY too fast; I'm planning to adopt a few of your tips).  For my third presentation at that Summit (which was the first I had ever even attended, much less presented at), my two co-presenters received mostly positive feedback, while mine was mediocre to positive.  I had to take THAT personally.  It was almost the last presentation I ever gave, but I tried to learn from it.  Somehow I ended up presenting twice last year.  No horrible comments, so I guess it was OK.  However, I ALWAYS focus on the negative comments and really needed this advice.  I think that we need to accept constructive feedback, but some feedback is not "constructive".  I will try to remember this in October.......

    PS - my last presentation from that first Summit had ALL positive comments fo my co-presenter and myself.  Otherwise, I may have given up the world of presenting altogether.....  :-)


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    Kathy Kim
    Director of Finance
    Donor Network of Arizona
    Phoenix AZ
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  • 4.  RE: Dealing with Negative Feedback

    Posted May 03, 2017 01:18 PM
    Loved this!  This can be used all the time!  Humor definitely helps break the ice.  I've tossed around the idea of presenting at one of the Summits.  I'm dipping the toe in by offering to be a co-presenter this year.  I'll keep this in my back pocket if I'm needed.

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    Jessica Murphy
    Master Planner
    Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana
    AX2009 Operations and Maintenance SIG Leader
    Indianapolis IN
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