No matter how hard you work, everyone will face criticism at some point in their work day. You may be lacking in some responsibilities, or a colleague may disagree with your approach. Whatever the reason for it, a good employee should know how to deal with criticism at work. Firstly, it’s important to recognize that most workplace critiques are intended constructively, not maliciously. Given this, it’s crucial not to react emotionally. We’ll begin by discussing the best way to respond to criticism, and how to determine if it is constructive or not.
Keep a Level Head
One of the most common reasons criticism is problematic involves the way most people react to it. Instead of reacting logically, most people react to these claims emotionally. Taking any and all criticism as a personal attack on your character will certainly hurt your career. It’s understandable to want to react emotionally. However, reacting with an appropriate temperament will make a big difference. Remain calm, and try to understand the criticism that is being directed your way. You may consider rephrasing it in your own words back to the accuser. This will give you some breathing room to process it, and not respond emotionally.
Take a Step Back
You should also try and see the problem from their perspective. Once you understand where they are coming from, you can either acknowledge their criticism or provide your perspective. In any situation like this, understanding both sides will help you in you respond appropriately. Try to realize the point they are making before you begin defending yourself. Even if it is just an emotional response, not hearing them out will make you look overconfident. The best thing you can do is listen to their assessment and take it in stride. Unless this person is out to get you, most criticism is well intended. Your coworker could simply be trying to lighten your workload, or saving you from the boss’ wrath.
Off Base Criticism
While the majority of work place criticism is intended to be constructive, what if it is off base? Or perhaps it’s just resulting from a personal feud. Either way, dealing with this type of judgement will be more challenging. Thankfully one is easier to deal with than the other. If you believe someone’s criticism is off base or incorrect, calmly try to understand their perspective. Once you have a firm grasp on their stance, explain your position and politely counter their claim. If they don’t agree with your position, simply move on and thank them for their perspective.
On the other hand, if the criticism seems to malicious or personal, respond politely and move on. It likely won’t do much good to have a discussion with this person. Hear them out and then move on if you can. In the event that this person is your boss, follow the same approach as above. However if your boss seems to have a personal vendetta against you, it may be time to start your job search. We hope this advice assists you in dealing with criticism at work! If you would like any of the points clarified or have specific questions, feel free to let us know in the comments!