We’ve all heard the term, “constructive criticism.” This is the good type of criticism that is productive and helpful. According to various books and articles that I’ve read, constructive criticism is like nasty-tasting medicine. It’s terrible to swallow but it will make you a better person. Hey, you should be glad to get it!

Well, that might be true, but I still don’t like it. Honestly, who does? Criticism is hard to take, no matter how gently it’s delivered or how helpful it might be.

That’s why I found this illustration in a Wall Street Journal article to be both informative and entertaining. It provides some helpful tips on how to effectively respond to negative feedback.

Illustration courtesy of the Wall Street Journal

I guess it boils down to this… stay calm, don’t get defensive, listen to what’s being said, and gather more information if necessary. If you determine that your manager’s criticism is valid, try to change your behavior.

It’s never easy to get negative feedback. But if you can follow these steps, your manager will be impressed with your ability to handle a potentially uncomfortable situation and respond appropriately.