Whether you’re a brand new virtual assistant or have been in business for years, receiving negative feedback can be hard to deal with. No one likes to feel like they are being judged or criticized, especially when it comes to something they’ve worked hard on. And although it’s easy to dream about working with clients that only provide you with positivity, that’s not always going to be the reality. Because of this, being able to handle negative feedback is one of the most important parts of being a virtual assistant.
Tips for Handling Negative Feedback
Here are four ways that you can deal with negative feedback as a virtual assistant.
- Be Self-Aware
Self-awareness is being able to identify how you think, feel, and behave about a situation. Having self-awareness and knowing how you react to things is key when dealing with feedback, be it positive or negative. One way to do this is to think about the way you have reacted to negative situations in the past. Did you get upset or did you remain calm?
Once you identify your emotions, be sure to take time to process your emotions before you respond – especially if you get angry. Reacting quickly when you haven’t fully processed the information you’ve been given opens the door for miscommunication, which is something that can make or break your relationship with a client.
- Don’t Take it Personal
It’s easy to feel like negative feedback or constructive criticism is a personal attack against you. After all, if you’ve worked hard on something, it can be challenging to acknowledge that it wasn’t quite what the client was looking for. Despite this, it’s important to not let the feedback impact your self-confidence or ability to work.
- Ask Questions
When you are given feedback, especially vague feedback, it’s always important that you ask questions that clarify the expectations that your client has. Asking questions not only shows that you are processing your client’s feedback, but also that you value what your client has to say. Be sure to ask your client to clarify their expectations for the current project and what their expectations are for future projects.
Remember, negative feedback doesn’t always mean that your client is completely dissatisfied with your work. Many times, some form of miscommunication leads to situations where negative feedback is given.
- View it as an Opportunity
Instead of viewing negative feedback as something that tears you down, take it as an opportunity to improve. Whether it be improving communication with your client or expanding your current skill set and knowledge base, this feedback is a learning experience that can help you grow as a virtual assistant. Being in charge of your own business means constantly working to improve the way you interact with people, including both current and potential clients.
Negative feedback can also help you determine what clients you want to work with in the future. If you are getting consistent feedback that is critical rather than constructive, it may be time to examine your relationship with the client. After all, part of being a virtual assistant is having the freedom to choose who you work for and having the freedom to set professional boundaries with clients.
Receiving negative feedback can be a positive learning experience, even if it doesn’t feel like one. Although it’s easy to get down on yourself when your client doesn’t respond the way you had hoped, take it as an opportunity to improve on your work and the way you run your virtual assistant business.
At AIM Social, we work with business owners and virtual assistants alike to help you improve your business. Contact us today to learn more about our services.