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Career Guide


Top 10 ways to handle criticism at work

10. Learn how to value criticism

More often than not, we only value praise. We are elated when people speak kind words to us, but feel miserable when we are criticised. If we only tune ourselves to praise, we will never make progress. We should learn how to invite constructive criticism and appreciate suggestions.

9. Donít get defensive

Itís a natural reaction to get defensive when being criticised. However, it is important to fight that urge. Your critics might have something important to say, but youíll never pick up on it if youíre too busy thinking about how to defend yourself.

8. Control your body language

Many times, body language speaks louder than words. Donít clench your teeth or fists, cross your arms, or have an angry expression while listening. Bad body language can send the wrong message to your critics and turn a potentially positive situation into a negative one.

7. Respond to the criticism, not the tone

The problem with criticism is that its tone and style can turn a personís attention away from the valuable suggestions given. Even if someone speaks in an angry or condescending tone, you need to detach his emotions from the constructive suggestions.

6. Disregard destructive criticism

If you can see that the person criticising you is being personal and hurtful rather than constructive, it is better to just let it slide. Donít take it too seriously, or personally. However, it might be constructive to find out what the person has against you so you can figure out how to get back into his good books.

5. Donít respond immediately

Never react immediately! It is best to wait a little while before responding. If you react with feelings of anger or injured pride, you will soon regret your actions. Wait patiently, so you can reflect and respond in a calmer way.

4. Keep the conversation productive

If you know that your critic is correct about a situation, own up and offer an apology if necessary. Thank him for taking the time to offer you feedback. If you believe that the criticism may be wrong, state your opinion, but agree to reflect upon the issue.

3. Decide on ways to improve yourself

Donít let criticism destroy you! Most of the time, criticism is given with a constructive intention in mind. Instead of feeling dejected, figure out ways to improve your performance and to develop your skills.

2. Avoid blaming somebody else

To err is human. So, donít act like you can do no wrong and push the blame on somebody else. Admitting your mistakes and resolving them shows that you can be entrusted with bigger tasks and that you take full responsibility for what is assigned to you.

1. Accept it positively!

If you threaten to quit or feel completely destroyed at the slightest word of criticism, chances are you take things too personally. Realise that your critic has nothing against you, but instead thinks that you can use some improvement. This will ultimately help you accept criticism in the right spirit!

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