Turn a Negative Review into a Positive Experience

What’s your first reaction when receiving negative feedback? It could be a bad Yelp review for your newly opened restaurant, a list of things done wrong during your annual review, or a less than satisfied employee on Glassdoor. Regardless of the medium, negative reviews and feedback are a part of a professional career for everyone. But while negative feedback may feel like the end – it’s really only the beginning of a great opportunity.

Negative feedback can be hard to face, but it’s important to see this feedback as a chance to improve. While it’s natural to feel bad for yourself, keep those feelings in check and look at the feedback you received logically. Instead of trying to reason why the reviewer was wrong or inept at giving feedback, take the information they provided as a stepping stone to do better. It’s easy to focus on why they shouldn’t feel the way they do, but no one wins when we do that and you’re likely to look even worse in the end.

Instead, take this opportunity to make positive changes in yourself, your company and your response. Avoid replying to the nasty Yelper, and instead do something to blow away their expectations next time. Don’t feel sorry for yourself after the annual review; put a plan in place to make sure your boss is thrilled with your work the rest of the year. Instead of listing all the reasons why a former employee had no reason to think badly about your company, take their feedback to heart and start making real changes.

The point is, even if you don’t agree with the feedback, or think they aren’t qualified to provide that sort of criticism, that’s not for you to judge. All that you can control is your response. So no matter the feedback, put it to good use to better the situation overall.

And if after all this change and progress the criticizer still feels the same, then who cares? If you’re really putting in the honest work to improve yourself and your business, there’s likely to be much more positive feedback that comes along the way. You customers will become more satisfied, supervisors and co-workers will appreciate the hard work you’ve put in and your best employees will start sticking around for the long-haul.

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