There are different types of negative feedback, and these have to be encountered accordingly. The initial stage for responding to negative
feedback is to establish the kind of feedback that has been given. Strategies dealing with negative feedback will be developed accordingly. This is a vital step and needs to be carefully managed. Negative feedback can be categorized as follows:
Useful Dissatisfaction: Such dissatisfaction leads to positive development and may be more useful if recommendations are also specified. Some clients, even the faithful category, may not be contented with the product or result and will use this type of a negative feedback. Their purpose is not criticism but actually to express their views for implementation. This negative feedback may be considered as disapproval, but it can be really useful for improvement.
Forthright Opinion: A customer may not be satisfied with the results and he then offers his comments bluntly. This feedback is negative exposes negative aspects of criticism, without regard to any recommendations. However, this attitude can also be helpful since it is based on the customer’s opinion.
Deliberate Assault: Though such behavior is not desirable, there is a requirement to deliberate upon the causes that lead to this negative feedback or criticism. The customer may be irritated due to some adverse actions.
Misconduct: This type of negative feedback is misbehavior, and it has been developed without any convincing basis. Such type of attitude may be used by competitors or others.
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Consider These Strategies for Dealing with Negative Feedback
Management of negative feedback is crucial in a project environment, since customers are involved and their satisfaction is essential.
Suitable responses improve customer management and will contribute to establishing trust. The following strategies may be useful for dealing with negative feedback:
Authenticity Of Feedback: There are several occasions when the feedback is thought negative; it is not criticism, and it may be true. Such negative feedback needs to be analyzed properly to determine the real facts and prepare appropriate response plans. In several occasions, the negative feedback may not be related totally to the general product and may occur occasionally. Such negative feedback, if considered to be true, needs a positive reaction.
Abnormal Behavior: Sometimes, negative feedback may not be at all related to the facts, and it is given out of context. The purpose of such feedback is not to deliver an opinion for improvement but may be due to ill intentions. Countering such feedback with explanations may lead to an unending and undesirable process. However, silence is also not recommended. Such feedback needs to be deliberated carefully and a response plan prepared according to the particular situation.
Community Support: Reaction to negative feedback is significantly influenced by the support available in the community. The nature of the response will depend upon the community or individual backing.
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At times, people may attempt to harm the reputation of others by communicating feedback that has a few facts and also contains some false statements. Strategies dealing with negative feedback in such a situation should be to exclude the incorrect portion; the facts should be deliberated to evolve a positive response plan.
Initial response should be to remain neutral and only listen to the feedback impartially. Only an unbiased attitude will enable the revealing of facts and false statements. Retaliation should be avoided, and feedback should not be considered to be directed toward a particular individual. Attempt to concentrate on facts by using a root-cause analysis and create a win-win situation.
Request Additional Information
It may be useful to obtain additional information related to negative feedback to prepare an appropriate response, since the feedback received may not contain complete details. Properly addressing negative feedback may not be possible without obtaining complete information.
The individual’s dignity should not interfere while reacting to negative feedback. A desire to react harshly should be controlled to prevent unnecessary escalation. The event may be ignored temporarily to gain time for a better response. The feedback may be re-examined subsequently, which may produce improved decisions.
On certain occasions, time may be crucial when dealing with negative feedback. Appropriate answers to such feedback may not be available instantly. However, delay may prove to be detrimental, and acknowledgment of the feedback, with assurance of a detailed reply, can be useful.
It is human nature to err, but negative feedback is not really appreciated. Efforts are undertaken to cover weaknesses, but the truth prevails. Therefore, the best approach is to admit the weaknesses, with an assurance that suitable measures will be taken for improvement. Acceptance of weaknesses may be difficult, but this is a positive approach and should be appreciated.
Develop Thrust Despite Negative Feedback
The negative feedback should not be demoralizing enough to deter moving forward, and efforts should still be directed toward progress. Weaknesses must be considered normal, and those accepted as true must be removed at the earliest.
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