5 Steps to Handle Criticism at Work
Writing the Perfect Resume
May 11, 2017

Whether it’s a performance review with the boss or a disagreement with a co-worker, maintain your cool when receiving criticism at work. Although it is often tough to hear, criticism can actually help you get ahead in the workplace. By responding and acting upon criticism in a mature, professional manner, you may see your productivity and opportunities for advancement greatly improve.

Ask for feedback on how you can improve. This shows that you have an open mind to criticism and welcome opportunities to improve your work and relationship with co-workers. Request a follow-up meeting to track your progress and improvement, which shows that you are committed to resolving your issues.

  1. Listen and keep it professional
    Whether you agree with the criticism or not, don’t get judgemental or defensive; just listen to what they have to say. Usually the criticism will be coming from someone who genuinely wants to help you progress in your job, so bite your tongue and listen to what they have to say.
  2. Don’t take it personally
    This is one of the most common mistakes when dealing with criticism. Yes it hurts sometimes, but the criticism isn’t directed at you as a person. You’re at work and constructive criticism generally comes with the territory.
  3. Is it really criticism?
    Try to look at the situation objectively from the outside. Take a moment to consider whether the criticism was intended to be insulting or helpful. Use what you can in a positive and constructive way.
  4. Don’t respond…yet
    Sometimes they best course of action is to simply listen and then just take some time to digest what has just been said. By responding in the heat of the moment, you may say something you regret and potential cause damage to your career.
  5. Don’t be afraid to challenge the criticism
    By asking for clarification from your criticiser you can get a better understanding of which areas you really need to work on and will force your criticiser to really justify and explain their words.