Keep an open mind when getting criticised at work, for example, during performance reviews

Constructive Criticism or Constructive Feedback

​Have you ever had your good humour dampened because of something someone said about you, your work, or anything else you really care about?

Whether it comes from a friend, a teacher, or someone you don't know, criticism hurts even when it's constructive.

Especially when we may be thinking we have done a great job and were expecting positive feedback and a nice pat on the back.

Even when we know we could have done something better, having someone point out its flaws just doesn't feel nice.

Especially if the negative feedback takes place in front of a crowd or catches us by surprise...

So how do you react? Do you pretend you didn't hear or do you hurl an insult to defend yourself?

There are actually other ways of handling criticism! Of course, they're not magical formulas to keep you from being hurt or feeling anger, but they'll help you learn how to deal with criticism and maybe even get something constructive out of it!

How to Handle Criticism

The next time someone gives you feedback, try doing these instead:

1. Don't react immediately

Getting angry or annoyed can happen really fast. Sometimes all it takes is a misplaced word or the wrong tone, and before you know it you've turned into the Hulk!

While it's normal to feel this way, try to cool off and stay calm. Give yourself some time to process what you’ve heard before reacting.

After all, you don't want to say something that'll make you look like you can't handle receiving criticism. Or even worse, say something you'll end up regretting later!

2. Assess the criticism

Sometimes the best thing to do is to take a quick step back and assess the criticism: who said it and why? Are they trying to help you, but did not communicate their point of view nicely? Or are they just trying to be mean?

Taking a step back allows you to determine if perhaps the criticism has some real value you hadn't seen before or if it's better to just brush off the comment.

You never know, maybe what they're pointing out is something you wouldn't have noticed otherwise, or maybe it can even help you improve an area you didn't know needed to be improved!

In any case, taking a step back to really assess the situation helps you identify the best way to answer the criticism without making the situation worse!

3. Don't take it personally

Whether the criticism is intended to be helpful or not, you can't always be sure.

Sometimes people just feel like being mean, or they're just bored, or they're angry about something else and they're taking it out on you.

Whichever the case, remember that sometimes people do things not to attack you personally, but to vent out anger or frustration.

Lessen the sting and calm the situation by being as understanding and level-headed as you can.

By choosing to take the high road, you not only do yourself a favour by not getting angry, you also let the other person know that their criticism was uncalled for.

4. Use it to your advantage

If the criticism does actually have some truth to it, then the best thing to do is figure out how you can use it to improve.

Get straight to the point and ask the person which part of you or your work they'd improve, and how. That's how to handle criticism at work like a pro.

That way you not only show you are interested in doing things better, you are also involving the person who criticised you.

If you have assessed that the critism is invalid, simply smile, walk away, and don't let it dent your self-confidence.

As you can see, there are many ways to handle criticism in a polite and graceful manner!

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