02 Feb How to Handle Criticism at Work
Putting yourself out there can be intimidating. After all, what will people say? No one likes to be told they’ve done something wrong, but in order to grow, it’s important to push past the fear of negative feedback and take action anyway. Criticism is something that comes along with the job…and it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You have the power to do something great with it, and inspire those around you to do the same.
In the long run, learning to handle criticism at work is a key way to build good relationships at work and to improve a variety of skills. The natural reaction to criticism is to become angry, deny the problem, and put the blame on someone else. This is expected because feelings have been hurt and the ego wounded. Self-protection will automatically come into play. Learning how to override the natural reaction takes time and practice and will help improve relationships at work. Here are some practical and simple ways to overcome criticism:
- When you first enter your workplace, take a deep breath, smile, and try to relax.
- Keep good eye contact with others at work, especially the boss.
- Put negative thoughts and feelings about yourself out of your mind. Shift your thoughts to what you do well or like most about yourself.
- Don’t take the criticism personally. It is your work you are being asked to change and not you as a person.
- When the supervisor or boss criticizes, listen carefully without interrupting. Taking notes may be helpful, but be sure to keep good eye contact so that you show to be paying attention. You can look back to your notes whenever you need to do so. This helps avoid making similar mistakes in the future. At the same time, you will be viewed as an individual who is concerned about getting the job done the right way. The relationships shared with co-workers and supervisors will improve if you handle criticism well.
- You will also gain additional respect from coworkers. Tension in the workplace will lessen, and you will feel better about the job and about yourself.