6 Strategies to Handle Workplace Criticism Like a Champ

6 Strategies to Handle Workplace Criticism Like a Champ
Constructive criticism can be the best thing that ever happened to your work.
No one likes being criticized. But constructive criticism can be extremely helpful—it can give you fresh perspective on your work and perhaps highlight a few areas in which you can reexamine your methods and modify your approach.
If you take criticism effectively (read: not personally or emotionally) and reflect on it, you can definitely improve the overall quality of your work.

Here are six strategies to best handle constructive criticism at work:

1. IT'S NOT PERSONAL: MODERATE YOUR INITIAL REACTION

Pause before you react. Take a moment to breathe, stay calm, and avoid getting defensive. The results of the Sensitivity to Criticism Test showed that people who are “defensive about criticism are less happy with their job, [and] have low performance ratings and low self-esteem.” Wait a few seconds to collect yourself and your thoughts before you respond.

2. LISTEN CAREFULLY to the cONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM

Listen carefully to the feedback and show that you’ve acknowledged it. One good technique is to repeat what the person said. It shows that you are listening and also will help you remember the feedback in the future. {click to tweet}

3. ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK

Constructive criticism can be extremely beneficial to your work performance and to your career. Ask questions to be sure that you completely understand the situation, the feedback and what you need to do to improve in the future.
Constructive criticism can be extremely beneficial to your work performance and to your career.

4. SAY THANK YOU

Giving feedback isn’t easy. Thank the person for taking the time to give you feedback and the opportunity to improve based upon it.

5. FOLLOW UP ON THE ISSUE

If the constructive criticism concerns a big issue, you may want to schedule time to follow up. This will give you a chance to find out if your performance has improved.

6. TAKE TIME TO REFLECT

Don’t blow the feedback out of proportion. Try your very best not to take it personally! One of the biggest mistakes I repeatedly made earlier in my career was taking things personally. You’ll be much better off if you listen to feedback objectively and realize that it’s not a reflection on what the person thinks of you as a person, but rather a thoughtful appraisal of your work.

Everyone makes mistakes—your boss does, too. Your career will be better off if you view constructive criticism as a positive. It gives you the opportunity to improve and be the best you can be.
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Have you ever received negative feedback from a boss or coworker? What did you do?