Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Successful Professionals Stay Powerful in Difficult Situations

Successful Professionals Stay Powerful in Difficult Situations
On the road to success, you will undoubtedly encounter a few challenges. Among these challenges, one of the hardest to handle can be negative criticism. No one likes to hear negativity regarding their work-especially if it is unwarranted. However, it can be helpful to remember that as Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Here, are several ways to maintain your confidence so that you can turn any difficult moment into an opportunity for professional growth.

Find Common Ground
In many challenging situations, the person leading the confrontation often simply wants to be understood. Even if you may not agree with what they are saying, it is likely that you can identify with the emotions behind the conflict. Everyone has been angry, frustrated or disappointed at some point. Therefore, acknowledge the person’s feelings by offering a statement of understanding before moving on to address the issue at hand.

Ask Questions
When you are focused on meeting your professional goals, there are few things worse than unhelpful criticism. If someone appears to be on a rant, try to shift the conversation toward one that is productive. Begin by asking a few open-ended questions to help find out exactly which aspects of their criticism may be valid. Then, begin to probe deeper until a possible resolution can be found. By steering the conversation away from emotionally charged commentary, you can keep control while turning the situation into a win-win for all.

Get Some Distance
When negative commentary cuts close to a project with which you feel strongly attached, it may be necessary to distance yourself from the emotions involved. Try taking a third-party perspective and view the situation from the other side. This can help you to determine which parts of the criticism may carry weight. Sometimes, you may need to put actual distance between yourself and the person expressing negativity. Scheduling a meeting or phone call for later when tempers are no longer flaring is always better than losing control.

Facing negativity is something for which no one ever can be completely prepared; however, knowing how to handle the situation with grace can help you maintain your control while demonstrating your professional competence. By keeping your cool and getting to the bottom of the real issues at hand, you will always comeback from negativity with confidence while preserving your professional reputation.

Patricia Haddock delivers bottom-line results for organizations and entrepreneurs by delivering training programs, creating strategic inbound content, and developing profitable product and service packages for her clients. Watch for Entrepreneur Academy coming in January.

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