A harsh reality of being a business owner is that there will be those unavoidable times when you receive negative feedback. It happens to the best of us! Seriously.
In this episode I want to get super real with you by sharing some of my own experiences with receiving negative feedback, as well as a few steps I think you should take when you inevitably experience negative feedback yourself.
Sidenote: This episode is going to be short, sweet and to the point because life is a crazy, beautiful, sometimes unpredictable thing and it is always better when we learn to just go with it. Confession? Things have been a little crazy around here trying to catch up after the Boss Mom Retreat and I just found out my brother is coming into town to hang out with us, which means.....I've gotta get it together!
Anyway, go ahead and dig in so that hopefully this will help next time you encounter negative feedback in your own life.
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1. Give people space to feel what they feel
Everybody has a right to their negative feedback. Nobody is going to be happy with everything you do all the time. Sometimes their feedback will make sense to you, and other times it won't. But bottom line: people have a right to experience the feelings that they do, and it's our responsibility to give them that space.
We never know what is going on behind the scenes in peoples' lives. Maybe on one day a certain thing wouldn't bother them, but on a different day, amidst different circumstances, that same thing hits them the wrong way.
It's normal to get angry, upset, defeated and want to throw your hands up and cry. There is a flood of emotions that comes with receiving negative feedback because we feel attacked - even if everything the other person is saying is true!
In those moments, take a deep breath and remember that everyone has a right to feel however they feel - the other person, and you! The important thing is to give both the other person and yourself the space to feel those feelings before moving into a place of reaction.
Take a step back, go for a walk around the block and give yourself space as you let that person's voice be heard. Oftentimes what they need most is just to be heard.
2. Be honest and recognize what you can change
The reality is, sometimes there will be times when you receive negative feedback from a place of truth. When that kind of feedback finds its way to you, take a good look inside yourself and try to recognize what, if anything, is valid in what the other person has expressed.
Oftentimes when we get negative feedback we tend to want to dismiss it and get angry or defensive. Remember: no one is perfect! You're not going to get everything right all the time, and you shouldn't expect that you won't ever mess up.
So ask yourself honestly if you dropped the ball in some way - if there was something you did that you could have done better, handled better or phrased better. Don't let feelings of indignation or pride stand in the way of your own personal growth.
Negative feedback provides you the opportunity to recognize where you have room to grow and courageously step into that. When you own that, you can move forward and make things better.
3. Call someone who loves you and let them love you
Let's be real....even if we understand the reason behind why negative feedback came our way, and even if we want to make things right, it can be really hard to actually fix or address anything positively when you're an emotional mess yourself.
My favorite thing to do when I'm emotionally reeling after receiving negative feedback? Call someone who really loves you, let them know you need some extra loving, and then let them fill you back up with love. Choose someone you know can and will give you what your soul needs in that moment. Choose someone who you will believe - not someone your brain will tell you has to love you by default (a parent, husband, etc).
Love is an incredibly powerful thing, and when you make it a priority to care for yourself by inviting someone in to refresh you and fill you back up, you can be empowered to go back and address the negative feedback from a good place.
Confession? I had a really bad day recently and the feedback I got on this day was pretty much all true. I’d been really overwhelmed since the Boss Mom Retreat trying to get everything done - and not being able to get it all done.
In a few instances this has actually damaged my ability to deliver on some of my promises, which totally and completely eats me up inside. Even though I desperately wanted to do whatever I could to make things better, the reality was that the feedback hurt and made it difficult to actually get in there and fix what needed fixing.
I, along with you and every other business owner that has ever existed, doubt myself and whether I'm really doing something meaningful and worthwhile. Don't ever think you're alone when you experience the same thing yourself.
Instead, get vulnerable, share where you're at with people who love you, and do your best to not let those feelings keep you stuck or get in your way. Feel those feelings, express them, get refreshed and move forward. Let it be your fuel to make things happen.
Remember that just because you run a business that works, doesn’t mean everything is going to work all the time. You will make mistakes, and people won't be happy with you all the time. People will ask for refunds, you will let people down, and you'll let yourself down. It's all part of the gig.
But, when those times happen, remember to give everyone space to feel what they feel, recognize what you can do to make things better and call someone who loves you and let them fill you up with love.
You've GOT THIS. Now go on and keep doing amazing things in this world, you beautiful Boss Mom, you.
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Raising Your Business is an 8-week self-guided course that walks you step-by-step through the 10-point path you need to follow in order to raise and nurture a truly successful business.
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