Getting in Trouble at Work: How To Handle Negative Feedback

8 Steps to take if you’re in trouble at work:
  1. Own your mistake and tell appropriate parties. …
  2. Apologize if needed, but don’t overdo it. …
  3. Bring solutions. …
  4. Create a game plan for next time. …
  5. Rebuild the trust of your boss. …
  6. Understand why you made the mistake. …
  7. Course correct. …
  8. Keep things in perspective.

Sonya’s company distributes anonymous peer and leader reviews. She actually just heard back from her coworkers, and it wasn’t all good. Sonya wrote to us concerned. She says she works hard, applies herself, and aims high. But for some reason, her leaders and peers may not share her perspective.

Do you believe there could be things I do at work that undermine my best efforts? she questioned. “I sometimes feel like my team and boss aren’t too happy with me, and this survey confirms that,” I simply want to know what else I can do to truly give it my all. ”.

We created this list of six less-than-stellar habits that could land you in trouble at work in response to Sonya’s query. Some of them are a little sneaky because you probably aren’t even aware that you have any of these negative tendencies. But if you do, it’s time to let them go so that you can finally receive the constructive criticism you need at work from both your leaders and your peers.

You are aware that practices like multitasking can be ineffective and distracting. A recent Bloomberg article stated that dehydrated workers experience “reduced cognitive performance in areas such as short-term memory, attention, and reaction time,” making it one of the worst productivity drainers. According to research, slightly dehydrated workers produce about 12% less than their similarly hydrated peers. Imagine being able to leave the office 12% faster by keeping a water bottle at your desk (and remaining productive) — that’s nearly 58 minutes earlier. It’s a simple fix that also has health benefits, which you probably already know.

If you rush around the office all day long without pausing to refocus and reorganize, you’re probably giving off a panicky vibe. And, panic isn’t a good look for any of us. Stopping and breathing is the simplest way to fix this reputation-destroyer. According to research, people who meditate occasionally throughout the day get less unfavorable feedback and focus more time on their tasks. So stop and take a few deep breaths, whether you do it as part of your morning routine or as a break during your lunch break. Think of a positive mantra. Your habits and mood will calm down, and your work will also get better.

Of course, it’s critical to acknowledge your accomplishments. Setting small goals and rewarding yourself as you reach them is a great way to tackle big projects because it can help you stay motivated. Unfortunately, prioritizing self-gratification alone sends the message that you don’t care about the team’s success or other members’ contributions. I hope that’s not how you actually feel, so take action and resolve the problem. Start thanking people when they assist you or perform a remarkably good deed. What goes around comes around, so don’t be surprised if you receive sincere, genuine appreciation in return.

Sincerity is essential, as we mentioned above, especially when expressing gratitude (and criticism, too). However, there are times when expressing all of your feelings at work can be harmful. Be cautious if your voice is frequently stressed or if you constantly seem depressed. Openly expressing negative emotions damages not only your reputation but also the work produced by your team. According to research, feelings spread among groups of people. The good news is that this also applies to positive emotions, so try to actively express positive thoughts whenever you can to uplift everyone’s spirits.

You won’t like this, but people who are working on demanding tasks and receive a call or text are three times more likely to make mistakes in their work, even if they don’t pick up their phone to respond. Why? According to researchers, “even though the actual moment of disruption is brief, our thoughts are interrupted for a significantly longer period, making it difficult to refocus.” There is a reason that many workplaces continue to have strict phone policies, especially during meetings. When others are present or you’re working on a challenging project, put your phone away. Your reputation (and work quality) will rise, and people will take notice.

If the adages “no news is good news” and “go with the flow” apply to your professional life, you might identify as a pacifist. However, your team and leader may view you differently as someone who is not genuinely interested in contributing to the team or the workplace culture. You create the impression that you’re just coasting if you don’t speak up when you have something to say, whether it’s positive or negative. But even if you’re worried about opposition, don’t let that stop you from having an impact. You were specifically chosen for your current position because your boss saw potential in your excellent work contributions. Start making them, and don’t be afraid of some critiques. Cooperative back-and-forth is what drives great ideas.

Sonya looked through our list and thought hard. She reflected, “I hate to admit it, but I’m guilty of a lot of these.” “I never put my phone down, and no one else in my office does either,” That might be the reason why our team culture isn’t great. And none of us are willing to speak up during meetings. I want to change these. My team will undoubtedly notice the positive changes if they can spot the bad habits. ” We agree. And, it never ceases to amaze us how minor adjustments can have a significant effect. Do you have any other ideas for Sonya? Comment now.

How to handle a work mistake.

Reasons you might get in trouble at work

Here are some typical grounds for criticism from your employer, along with suggestions to help you perform better:


Your tardiness is one factor that could lead to workplace conflict. Your ability to meet expectations, carry out your necessary job functions, and support your team may be impacted if you arrive at work after your scheduled shift or the mutually agreed-upon start time. If you have trouble being on time, think about changing your personal schedule to give yourself more time to get to work. To help you leave on time and leave extra time for incidentals like car trouble, traffic, or distractions, you can use alarms or other reminder tools.

Call your employer to inform them of your anticipated arrival time if you think you’ll be a few minutes late for work. So that they can prepare for your absence and know when to expect you Inform your manager if you frequently experience scheduling conflicts that prevent you from arriving on time. They might be able to change their standards to accommodate your needs and revise your schedule.

Work quality

Another issue that might occur is a drop in the caliber of your work. If your employer says you aren’t meeting quality standards, pay close attention to their advice. If you’re unsure of the steps you need to take to increase the standard of your work and meet expectations, ask questions. If there are outside factors affecting your ability to produce high-quality work, let your employer know. You can brainstorm ideas or locate helpful resources together.


A discussion with your manager is also warranted if your productivity declines or you are unable to meet production standards. Work on strategies to ensure youre meeting standards. Speak with your manager if you believe that the production standards set by your company are unachievable. They could offer suggestions to help you achieve your objectives or collaborate with you to lighten other aspects of your workload.


An essential skill for healthy working relationships is communication. You can prevent misunderstandings and communication gaps by expressing your needs, concerns, and questions to employers. Your boss might advise you to improve your communication abilities. It may take some time and effort for some people to develop the interpersonal skills necessary to contribute to a team.

You might have a distinctive communication style that clashes with that of your team members or your boss. If so, inquire about the coworker’s or manager’s communication preferences and requirements. Plan a time when there won’t be many distractions for an honest discussion about each of your expectations. Your ability to communicate with your manager or coworkers will improve as you gain a deeper understanding of one another. When in doubt, trend on the side of over-communicating.


You might receive feedback about your attitude. A bad attitude at work can have a significant impact on the atmosphere of your workplace, the team’s morale, your interactions with coworkers and customers, and how others perceive you. If you receive this feedback, take some time to think about how your actions might impair the performance of your teams or you personally. It’s common to occasionally feel demoralized at work, but persistent negativity can start to have an impact on both you and those around you.

Here are some actions you can take if you notice that your attitude isn’t changing for an extended period of time:


Many jobs require you to work well with team members. If your employer or coworkers believe you are not contributing equally or being a good team player, you could find yourself in trouble. If you get feedback like this, look for opportunities to support your colleagues and contribute. Try to see your team as a whole rather than as a collection of individuals. Concentrate more on the unit’s success than on your own contribution to it. Ensure your contributions advance the team and help everyone succeed.

Policy violations

You may receive a reprimand from your employer for breaking a company policy or expectation. Consider reading your company’s employee handbook if it exists to become familiar with the policies and expectations of the organization. This can help to ensure that you continue to adhere to company policy.

Customer feedback

If a customer gives you negative feedback, you might run into trouble at work. Being professional and consistently displaying excellent customer service abilities can be crucial when acting as a representative of your business. Making customers feel good about your work and business by being friendly, accommodating, and respectful Ask your manager for assistance or find a way to take a break to gather your composure if you find that you can’t effectively address a customer’s needs. This will enable you to garner favorable comments and effectively represent your business.

How to handle getting in trouble at work

Here are some steps you can take if you receive unfavorable feedback from a potential employer to handle the situation maturely and change your conduct moving forward:

1. Take accountability

Try to be as receptive as you can to feedback if a supervisor approaches you with an issue with your performance. Make sure you hear everything they have to say and that you comprehend fully why they are upset. Thank them for telling you and say you need some time to process what they said if you are unable to respond calmly and logically at that time. Accepting responsibility for your actions demonstrates maturity and shows your employer that you are concerned about your performance. Acknowledge their understanding of the circumstances and express your commitment to preventing a repeat of the incident.

Wait until you’ve had time to fully process their warning before responding if you have an explanation for your behavior or believe they were mistaken in their reprimand. Giving justifications right away after receiving criticism may come across to your manager as an attempt at justification. Instead, give yourself time to think about the situation and decide what to do. Even if you disagree with your manager’s assessment, there is usually something you can do better. Accepting responsibility rather than arguing with your boss can help you both maturely and positively move past the incident.

2. Ask for advice

Consider approaching your supervisor after considering their criticism to get their guidance on how to improve your performance. They may have resources you can use to ensure your work is better or that the incident doesn’t recur. Now is a good time to mention any outside factors that could have caused the performance change. Inform them of your concerns and your commitment to performing better going forward.

3. Establish strategies

Seek out ways to stop reoccurring infractions with your manager or by yourself. For instance, prepare to set multiple alarms prior to your scheduled shift if you got into trouble for arriving late because you overslept. Make sure you have all the resources you need to succeed in order to position yourself for success in every situation. By doing this, you can increase your sense of accomplishment and commitment to learning.

4. Share your plan

Your employer might ask you to present a formal plan for improving your conduct, performance, or actions, depending on the seriousness of your infraction. Some employers include your performance plan and complaints in your employee file. That way, you can both reference it later if needed. Even if your employer doesn’t require a written plan, you can express your commitment to changing the behavior by doing so verbally or in writing. Sharing your strategy with employers can be an effective way to show them that you value their opinions and are looking to do better.

5. Ask for feedback

Ask your employer for feedback on your performance after you’ve put some of your strategies into practice. This gives them time to address additional issues before they become serious. They might be extremely pleased with how you performed, which is a great sign. If they continue to experience problems, be open with them and modify your tactics as necessary. The best ways to strengthen your relationships and get through obstacles at work are to continue being open-minded, responsible, and communicative.


What is it called when you get in trouble at work?

One of the hardest things for a human resources professional to deal with is insubordination. In contrast to other rule breaking, which occasionally results from a misunderstanding, insubordination is the deliberate rejection of a job duty or directive from a manager or supervisor.

How do you know if you are in trouble at work?

You’ve received multiple bad performance reviews or negative warnings. This is the clearest indication – things aren’t going well. You’re left out of the loop. Perhaps you were purposefully or unintentionally omitted from the distribution list for information about after-hours events, impending company changes, or news about new projects.

What to do when a coworker tries to get you in trouble?

How to Deal with a Coworker Who Is Trying to Get You Fired, According to 15 Experts
  1. Swallow your tongue.
  2. Don’t become paranoid of everyone on your team.
  3. Begin to document everything.
  4. Revise your resume.
  5. Take control of the situation from every angle as possible.
  6. Look for other job opportunities.
  7. Defensive Measures.

Is it okay to make mistakes at work?

To be clear, the response is that it is acceptable to make errors at work. No matter how well-intentioned you may be, mistakes do happen because you’re only human. But when you consistently make mistakes at work without looking into why or taking action to fix them, it becomes a problem.

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