Growing from negative feedback and managing your inner criticFeatured

Jolleen's profile thumbnail
Thank you for sharing this and the points that you’ve made. Although it’s hard, I try to separate myself from my work so that when someone gives me negative feedback, I don’t take it personally.
rachelreiss's profile thumbnail
I think this is a common struggle among a lot of young women; our identity is so deeply rooted in our work that we lose sight of the fact that we're valuable in so many other ways.
annmarienunziata's profile thumbnail
Thank you for sharing, @rachelreiss! I'm a firm believer in "be the person you needed when you were younger." The younger me could have really used this article when navigating a similar situation. I had a manager who stated feedback in a way that cut straight to the core. Unfortunately, his words rang more true in my mind than the contrary opinions of those who's opinions actually mattered. For almost a year, I feel like it followed me even as I was building my reputation as a strong performer. Yet every time I took one step forward, I felt like there was a reminder of his feedback. Luckily, his opinion isn't the loudest voice in my head anymore, hopefully your old manager's voice has quieted too!
rachelreiss's profile thumbnail
I haven't mastered the art of silencing my inner critic (and don't think I ever will), but I've definitely been able to dial down her voice in times of self-doubt. Part of it just comes with time, hindsight, and having the opportunity to work with people who help put the insignificance of earlier opinions into perspective. If anything, I can appreciate that manager for showing me who not to be - and now hope I can pay it forward as a positive leader/coach for newer hires. Grateful to have you as a colleague + a friend!
ekuacant's profile thumbnail
Thank you sharing your brilliant insights @rachelreissNext month, I am dedicating my free coaching show to talk about different ways to tackle your "inner critic", I'm really looking forward to my guests sharing their actionable tips on this topic. If you'd like to be a guest on the show next month, please DM me.To your success!
HannahBaldovino's profile thumbnail
AMAZING reminders for receiving feedback! I agree you have to consider the source. I like to think about if it's from a person I admire with traits I want to emulate. I also heard this daunting experiment you can do if you really want to have a sit down session to increase self awareness. Choosing the 5 closest people in your life, those you love and truly love you and inviting them to sit down and give you their insights on what your strengths and weaknesses are. I've personally never done that before but it did give me a lot to think about. When getting feedback, having that strong foundation of self awareness is so key. Thanks for sharing!
rachelreiss's profile thumbnail
I very much agree. Self-awareness is what keeps us humble; it's so easy to jump and get defensive when "darts" are being thrown at you. Our goal as the recipients is to discern when those darts do and do not hit the target.
aardra's profile thumbnail
Thanks for sharing this. This is really helpful. I have struggled with the idea of giving and receiving negative feedback. and I think as women it is harder to do both, as we are socialised to be "nice" and "play along" all the time.
rachelreiss's profile thumbnail
There definitely is a double standard. I've found there's a way to be appropriately assertive. I try to consider myself a purveyor of constructive feedback rather than negative feedback; just by using that word, it's helped me make the mental shift.
aardra's profile thumbnail
Hmm, that's interesting, Will try that next time. Thank you! :) ☺️
Thanks for sharing, and I think there are two really important points you make about the source of the critique and the timeliness. All too often, we get feedback (helpful or not) when it is too late to course correct, or we get it from people who either don't have the perspective or ability to help us grow. I requested a 360 review at my last company, where we had a small ecosystem of people who either managed me or who I managed provide anonymous written feedback. Despite anonymity, it was very easy to tell who had said what, and although I was mostly not surprised by the assessment of my skills and perception of my personality, I will say that I was thrown by a superior who I disliked saying that I intimidated him. I don't think it is the job of a junior employee (especially a woman) to make a manager feel superior, but I will also acknowledge that I was less than helpful to this particular manager, perhaps unfairly. Once I got that peek at his humanity, I was able to slightly adjust my attitude and make the relationship a bit smoother. On the positive side, I don't think I mind being an intimidating woman, as long as I am also a good team player :-)
rachelreiss's profile thumbnail
I respect that so much! A shortcoming of many companies is that they don't offer opportunities for 360 degree feedback. I think a structure or mechanism needs to be put in place for people, especially more junior women, to feel comfortable partaking.
Kanika's profile thumbnail
Negative feedback can be crippling, especially if there is a meanness to it. In my 25+ year career, I have had two instances where I was blindsided, and even knowing the source/cause of the negative feedback, it was difficult to overcome the impact to my self confidence.For that reason, I try to be the manager and mentor I wished I had and follow a core set of guidelines such as: respect, collegiality, and collaboration. I also recommend finding someone in your life, outside of work who can be a mentor to you. It helps to be able to talk through issues with someone who is not involved and can provide a different perspective. I have a couple of people who reach out to me to discuss situations they are dealing with at work, so find someone who can do that for you and try to be that mentor for a couple of people as well.
rachelreiss's profile thumbnail
This ties back to @annmarienunziata's point earlier; "be the person you needed when you were younger". It is now my mission (and brings me joy) to be that coach/mentor to others. I admire you for following that philosophy, as well!I agree about the value of finding a mentor outside of work. Sometimes we need an outside-in perspective to remind us that the world is larger than our company, and our identity is larger than our job (or someone's perception of our job performance).
JocelynD's profile thumbnail
Great insights from @rachelreiss and the elphas that responded. Dissolving the inner critic for most people takes years. This is the journey of self-love. Ultimately the most important relationship you have is with yourself, whether people think your work is 'bad' or 'good' is secondary to your perceptions. You have to KNOW that you have value then you will gravitate towards people and situations that reflect that back to you. It sounds like you've done a great job co-creating and having that feeling of being successful reflected back to you; so the first horrible situation was in fact a tremendous 'gift'. It gave you the contrast necessary to understand what you didn't want so you could get focused on what you did want. 'Good job' -- but you already knew that ;)
rachelreiss's profile thumbnail
Thank you, Jocelyn! You are so right - and I have had many 'gifts' since that initial experience that, while unpleasant in the moment, helped me reflect upon what I really ought to prioritize in my work, my relationships, and my life!
I needed to read this post. Thank you. I pushed back at a meeting last week and the new CEO (2 months in the company), for some odd reason, felt some kind of way about it (even though pushing back and explaining the idea behind a decision you made as the manager is encouraged in the company) and threatened to fire me. When I asked the HR manager what I did wrong, my performance was brought up. Even though the new CEO had never called a formal performance review meeting with me, he still had enough power to recommend I leave the company. I handed in my letter without a fight but I won't lie, my confidence took a major hit. I've been trying to recover since it happened and it hasn't been easy. Even though the conversation with our HR manager was not an official feedback session, I walked away from it feeling bruised and punished for trying to explain a decision I made. Sigh. Nigerian culture + corporate work = hell.
rachelreiss's profile thumbnail
I am SO sincerely sorry that happened to you, and I sure hope that the CEO did not threaten you publicly in front of anyone else. Leaders set the culture, and if that's representative of the cultural shift that's about to occur, you may be moving onto greener pastures.As someone who is still working on getting comfortable pushing back myself, I can only imagine how hesitant you must be to speak up to that extent in the future. Goes to show that even at the CEO level, some individuals aren't aware of the impact their actions have on others. Ultimately this says more about her than it does about you - I hope you move forward to a place that welcomes and elevates your ideas.