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Executive Leaders: How To Effectively Handle Criticism & Negative Feedback
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Executive Leaders: How To Effectively Handle Criticism & Negative Feedback - Executive Leadership Articles

Executive Leaders: How To Effectively Handle Criticism & Negative Feedback

Executive Leadership Articles

Executive Leaders: How To Effectively Handle Criticism & Negative Feedback

Every Executive Leader wants their company to run smoothly and their employees to be happy and productive. There will be times, however, when leaders will receive negative feedback from their employees. It can be hard to hear this criticism, but there are ways to turn that negativity into an opportunity to improve your organization.

Listen. When employees criticize their boss, it means there is a problem somewhere in the organization, and it is the responsibility of the executive manager to solve that problem. Try not to respond emotionally or defensively. It is sometimes very hard not to justify or explain your actions when confronted with negative feedback. Remember that your main goal is to identify and solve the underlying problem causing the criticism so your company can move forward. Hearing your employees' concerns in a calm manner makes it easier for them to bring issues to you. Thanking them for their feedback—even if it is hard to hear—can be beneficial in the long term. Knowing that their feedback will be valued and seriously considered encourages your employees to talk to you.

Assess and decide. Ask yourself: is the criticism a personality issue or faulty policy? How many people in the organization does it affect? Is this a one-time problem or something that requires long-term action? Once you identify the main issue or issues, decide upon a course of action. Depending on the problem and the nature of your organization, you may need to involve some or all of your employees on what should be done next, or you may need to make that decision on your own. Assess the scale of the criticism to find the appropriate response. A small personality conflict between yourself and one employee does not need the type of response that a problematic company policy requires. Try not to scramble for quick answers just to make your employees happy. Sometimes a knee-jerk reaction can temporarily fix a problem but cause more in the long run.

Don't dwell. Nothing in life is 100% perfect 100% of the time. While it may be surprising and even hurtful to receive negative feedback, it is important to remember that you can turn it into an opportunity to do some housekeeping in your company, even if that housekeeping starts with you. Dwelling on hurt feelings rather than fixing your company will hurt your company. If you focus too much on the negative aspects of the situation instead of finding the solution, you can cause friction between yourself and your employees.

Assess again. Once you have heard your employees' concerns and chosen a course of action, keep an eye on the results. Not every problem has a clear, tidy answer, so your decision may need adjustments as you move forward. Ask your employees, especially the ones who gave you the negative feedback, how they think your decisions have affected them and the workplace.

Ultimately, try to remember that while the negative criticism is aimed at you, don't make it all about you. You don't want to be the employee who is negatively affecting your company. Instead, stay focused on using that feedback to make your business a stronger, more effective place to work for everyone.

 

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Executive Leaders: How To Effectively Handle Criticism & Negative Feedback - Executive Leadership Articles

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