Adrian des Rotours, PMP, couldn’t help but dwell
on the lone criticism. To take his career to the next
level, Mr. des Rotours was told by a manager that he
would have to change the fact some people thought
he was a bit of a lone ranger who could sound harsh.
For Mr. des Rotours, the remark temporarily erased
all of the manager’s positive feedback.
“I’d just gotten a very good performance rating,
a good annual bonus and a higher salary, but that
negative feedback pulled down my morale,” says
Mr. des Rotours, now service delivery manager at
PMI Global Executive Council member Hewlett
Packard Enterprise, Buenos Aires, Argentina. “My
first thought was that my co-workers were ridicu-
lous and wrong, but I had to remind myself: We are
what people perceive, not what we think we are.”
It’s easy for project practitioners to blow one bad
comment out of proportion—or want to dismiss
it altogether. A 2015 survey by TriNet Perform
and Wakefield Research found that nearly half ( 47
percent) of millennial workers leave a performance
review feeling like they can’t do anything right.
Yet the ability to put negative feedback in perspective and attack the root cause of the problem can help project managers create an action
plan to improve their performance—and boost
their careers. Becoming more engaged, rather than
retreating, often leads to better business outcomes
as well, according to a 2015 Gallup report.
When critical feedback heads their way, savvy
project practitioners know better than to shrug it
off. These four steps will help reveal the positive in
a negative comment.
“I’d just gotten a very good performance rating, a good
annual bonus and a higher salary, but that negative
feedback pulled down my morale.”
—Adrian des Rotours, PMP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Buenos Aires, Argentina