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Feedback and how (not) to react to it

by Sellick Partnership | 26 November 2014

Receiving feedback is an important part of working life - whether it is from an interview or a project within the work place and it is important to understand how to react. 

In the news this week, one hotel in Blackpool fined a couple for writing a bad review online following their stay. In fact, the hotel had it written into their policy that for every bad review written about them, each customer would be charged a maximum of £100! 

Granted, this is an extreme reaction to receiving negative feedback. However, there have been many high profile cases of bad reviews that can offer lessons on how to react appropriately to something we may not necessarily want to hear. 

In 2008, one less than that perfect review of Virgin's food went viral and caused Sir Richard Branson himself to respond. The passenger who wrote of his "culinary journey to hell” received a phone call from Sir Richard who apologised and thanked him for his "constructive, if tongue-in cheek” email. He then went on to defend his renowned brand by stating that it was "award-winning food which is very popular”. 

Another viral review from this month was from the wife of a former British ambassador in the US. She criticised a restaurant in Chelsea saying it was impersonal, pretentious and expensive. The chef from the restaurant was forced to respond to this saying that the other reviews were positive and that if it was expensive "please don't order it, you have a choice”. 

After reading about the response given to such reviews, I started to think about ways to react in certain instances. High profile cases such as these, can help us to think better about  how to respond to poor feedback in the work place. Below are some examples of some things to bear in mind

  • Remain positive - following a bad review, try to focus on praise you have also received, or any past achievements. Do not let the negative feedback knock your confidence
  • Do not take it personally - do not take the feedback as a personal attack. Look at the feedback as constructive criticism and think about how you can use the feedback to improve for the future.
  • Finally, do not let it consume you. Although hearing criticism can be tough, just remember that focusing on the negative will not change anything. Use it to improve your performance and ultimately, give you a better, more successful career. 

Have you reacted badly to negative feedback in the past? How did it affect you work life? Let us know in the comments box below