Think about the last time your boss gave you negative feedback — on a presentation, a project, or even your general work performance. Did you handle it as well as you could have?

When you receive negative feedback on your work, the emotions you feel undoubtedly affect the way you respond. But the way you handle yourself in these moments can be pivotal for your personal and career growth. Here are three tips for handling negative feedback with professionalism.

1. Focus on main issues, not details

One of the ways you should handle negative feedback is to stay focused on the main points of the feedback, not the details. Asking for elaboration on details — or worse, disputing them — will only make you look defensive.

For example, imagine your boss was giving you feedback on a presentation and said the following: “I’ve heard from several people that you didn’t come across as trustworthy.” Do not ask, “Which people? What did they say?” Instead, say something like, “Wow, I did not realize I was coming across that way. What do you think I could do to improve in the future?” This shows you care about getting better and aren’t interested in creating drama with your colleagues.

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