Negative feedback happens all the time. It is what it is, and it is necessary. You don’t grow if you’re convinced everything is sunshine and roses 24-7. The trick is figuring out why the feedback is coming at you in a negative light. Is it because the person had a bad experience and that taints the feedback? Is it because the person had a bad day? Is it because you deserve it? You made a mistake? Or, is it because, what you’re doing is different and that’s scary to people…
This aspect of feedback is something that’s taken me a long time to properly digest. Sometimes, people offer negative feedback not because there is anything wrong with what you are doing. They’re being negative because you’re doing something different. They’re used to things being a certain way and you’re changing the status quo. You’ve found a different way of tackling a problem, and that’s not the way life is supposed to work. We’re just supposed to all go along, swimming in the same stream, doing the same old, same old. Right? Hmm.
I once got face to face negative feedback from another publisher over our Photocopy License. It made me feel like I was doing something really wrong. I wasn’t. And I’m not. It’s just a different way of tackling a problem.
This is why it’s so important to know exactly why you’re doing something. Why you have such and such approach. The reasoning behind the decisions you make. So that when feedback comes your way, that’s not necessarily rosy, you can step back and say with confidence – “I’m doing the right thing” and keep on doing what you’re doing.
I loved this piece on how The Fighter shot 35 days worth of fight scenes in just 3 days. Everyone told Mark Walhburg he was wrong. It was impossible. It couldn’t be done. It had never been done that way. And yes, they way they filmed certainly couldn’t have been accomplished by anyone, which is perhaps why everyone reacted negatively. But it’s important to know the difference between ‘different’ and ‘wrong.’ This was different. That’s all.