8 Ways to Turn Negative Feedback into an Opportunity ~ Encyclopedia - Online Marketing With Google Yahoo MSN

Friday, February 1, 2008

8 Ways to Turn Negative Feedback into an Opportunity

We’re all working hard to get somewhere with our blogs and businesses. With lots of my hard work paying off lately, I’m finding that the increased exposure is having some side effects that I’m having a difficult time with. It’s getting increasingly difficult to respond to comments and links - which is really stressing me out because I really miss doing that and I know it’s really important to you. Every week I’m digging myself out of nearly 1000 email messages and sometimes things slip through the cracks.

But the hardest part of all is that I’m getting to a point where people are not exactly always saying positive things about me and the way I approach business and life.

You’re probably saying “Well, you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” And you would be 100% right about that. But putting yourself into a position to actually have to read and hear judgments or attacks is… well, challenging at best and it downright hurts at worst.

A little self-coaching was in order. What would I say to a client with this question?

Try it On - Does it Fit?

As hard as it is to admit it, sometimes people can deliver great feedback in a nasty package. Sometimes the things that bother us the most have a shred of truth to them. It makes it even harder to hear when people say it in a mean or attacking sort of way. But if there IS a bit of truth to hear, it’s far better to acknowledge it and grow from the experience. Otherwise it will come up again. And again.

Pick Your Battles

Ask yourself - is this really a good use of my energy and time? Some nasty comments are best blown off - especially if you “tried it on” and it didn’t fit! Sometimes misunderstandings can spread and become big problems - it’s important to draw a line between potentially damaging information and someone who is just venting or being an idiot.

Spin it Baby

They say that there is no such thing as bad PR. I guess that’s true, but good god, you’ve gotta have a strong stomach to deal with bad PR!! A great example of this is the Heart Attack Grill in Arizona, who spun the spun the controversy around his artery-clogging menu items into big business and press mentions nationwide.

Let Your Brand do the Talking

I was personally attacked (via email) for moderating members of a group who were breaking the TOS. While I sat back and composed myself, friends defended both my decisions and my actions - by the time it was over I never had to say a thing! If you consistently act in a manner that comes from a place of integrity and caring, people who know you will speak out when the trolls act up.

Pick up the Phone

For some reason, the anonymity of the internet can really bring out the worst in people. Remember that body language and tone of voice accounts for over 90% of what we communicate. Sometimes even the most nicely worded emails can be grossly misunderstood without the right visual and voice cues. When things get out of hand, it’s time to pick up the phone and set things straight.

Respond Only When You’re Centered

Responding to negative feedback when it is fresh and stinging is NOT the right time. You may be able to come up with some real stinging comments yourself in this state, but in the end, this doesn’t serve your highest good (nor anyone else’s!). Always take a few moments (or days!) to chill out before you respond to ensure that the message you are sending is the one you WANT to send.

Find the Silver Lining

In every mess there is a gift - and after living through my share of messes, I can safely say it’s ok to trust the process when negativity raises it’s head. Sometimes it’s exactly the shakeup you (or a community) needs in order to get on the right track. Seeking out the lesson always makes the situation brighter.

Stay Focused on Your Outcome

Sometimes, there’s just nothing you can do about the negativity - you can’t address it, and you can’t change someone’s mind. While you walk away, don’t walk away “backwards” while you continue to look at the problem. Look to the future, and at the very least, you can tell yourself, “Well, this must mean I’m getting more famous and closer to my goals!!”.

Source: http://www.emomsathome.com/blog/2007/04/25/8-ways-to-turn-negative-feedback-into-an-opportunity/

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