Maybe it’s your performance review. Or advice (solicited or otherwise) from a colleague. Whatever the feedback was, it was wrong — that person doesn’t understand the situation! They don’t really know what you do. And besides, their advice wouldn’t even work. Getting feedback you disagree with can be maddening, and while you might be tempted to launch into a well-reasoned rebuttal, it’s better not to react right away. Give yourself time to understand what the person is trying to convey. Ask clarifying questions such as “When you say ‘creative,’ can you tell me more about what you mean?” You might also ask a trusted friend (but not someone who only tells you what you want to hear) whether the feedback rings true. Once you fully understand the message and have taken the time to consider it, then you can decide how to respond.
Adapted from “Responding to Feedback You Disagree With,” by Sheila Heen and Debbie Goldstein