Three Steps To Handle Criticism At Work

2018-04-25 by Steve

Growing Your Career

There is no dispute that workplace criticism can be a serious blow to anyone’s ego. It’s only human to aspire to be perfect, even though we know that perfection is overrated. But how do you accept criticism honorably without appearing defensive or evasive. Or better yet, how do you handle critics without necessarily lashing out angrily at them? Well, here’s how.

1.) Ask for clarification

Accepting rebuke is one thing, looking and giving flimsy excuses is another, but calmly seeking an explanation is one of the most professional things you can do in the face of adversity. Before reacting and exploding in fury after a junior employee corrects your work, simply requesting a conclusive explanation or clarification for their point of view will go a long way in improving your workplace relations in the long run. At the same time, it’s wiser to ask for an alternative from your superiors or critics instead of trying to ‘over explain’ yourself or justify your shortcomings.

2.) Elevate the other party

This often applies if the critique is coming from someone in authority or superior to you. Showing that you appreciate their correction and criticism is often the first step towards mending a broken relationship. For instance, if your boss criticizes your weaknesses or poor workplace performance, calmly acknowledge their concern as opposed to trying to explain your flaws as most tend to do. Remember that at the end of the day, people will only criticize those whom they think have the capacity to improve. And contrary to what most think, criticism is more constructive than praise.

3.) Assume that the other party has your best interest at heart

It’s undeniable that human beings are wired to view criticism as a form of punishment, attack or insult to their abilities and qualifications. That’s the reason you’ll feel your rage rise whenever your boss scolds you or leaves negative comments in your work review. However, the first step of accepting criticism gracefully at the workplace is assuming that not every correction is laced with malice or discrimination. That way, you’ll be in a better position of becoming a dependable employee and a more wholesome person in general.

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Here are a few more tips:

a.)Train yourself to hear out the opinions of other without being defensive.

b.)Listen before responding to any criticism.

c.)If it helps, take criticism while smiling as a way of toning down the other party’s anger.

d.) Issue a formal apology if the criticism comes from a past misconduct.

e.) Acknowledge the other party’s concern before trying to justify your wrongdoings.


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