Your Voice: How to handle tough feedback during PMP meeting
Listening to negative feedback can burn turned into a positive.
Receiving tough feedback from your boss during your annual Performance Management Program (PMP) rating meeting is never easy. But we can train our minds to remain calm, take a deep breath, and take this meeting as an opportunity to learn and to improve.
Here are a few tips on how to remain calm and professional while receiving tough feedback.
A first step is to remain calm. The mind is very capable of receiving tough feedback. It is a superb instrument to understand the truth of any feedback that is primarily about your performance. Keep in mind that what is being assessed is your performance, and the actions that you have taken. We all make mistakes, and we can all improve our actions, if we know that our performance is in need of improvement.
Once we receive negative feedback, the next step is to keep our emotions in check. The challenge is that sometimes we see this negative feedback as “mean” words that are aimed at us personally. Our emotions can prevent us from sifting through this feedback to find useful tips about how our performance affects others, and where there may be gaps for improvement. Remaining calm, and stepping away until we are able to calmly, peacefully, and honestly communicate with others can make a huge difference. Showing that we are tough enough to listen to tough feedback can even stop people from targeting us as victims in the future.
Our best protection, when management gives us negative feedback about our performance, is our curiosity. Most people naturally want to learn and grow. By stepping back, and allowing our curiosity to lead the way, we can ask our boss: “Please give me specific ideas on how to improve.” Getting valuable and honest insights into our work can be a bonus tip. And using our PMP as a practice session for seeking feedback could help our management to find kinder ways to share feedback, especially once they see us listening and implementing their suggestions.
Ultimately, listening to negative feedback can be a way to turn a negative into a positive. Improving our work habits or job performance can make us feel more comfortable on the job, more capable, and more confident. We can boost our hard skills and soft skills when we calmly and honestly evaluate what others say about us, and we can come up with new ideas that could make us one of the most productive employees at the company.
We are all capable of doing more than we currently do. If we share some of this feedback with trusted friends or respected mentors, and those people agree that some of that tough feedback is valid, we can set ourselves goals that are achievable. Now that we have goals, we can focus on working hard and smart, to deliver on tasks for the company that will help us to improve our personal performance and help bring benefits to this great company.
Your Voice reflects the thoughts and opinions of the writer, and not necessarily those of the publication.