Effective Ways To Face Criticism At The Workplace


Ways to face criticism

Getting feedback at work is a gift as it gives you the chance to understand your weak points, improve them and continue learning from your mistakes. Criticism at workplace in inevitable as it’s a way to communicate to you what has been done wrong and what should be done better. However, in most companies the culture of giving (and receiving) constructive criticism isn’t well developed. Thus, you might be reacting wrong to a valid feedback. To learn how to accept criticism and use it to your advantage, read below.

Professional resume writers Chicago state that there are two types of criticism: constructive and destructive. The former criticism type points out at the concrete inefficiencies of your work and gives suggestions for improvements . The latter puts the claim against someone in a negative form with no constructive background or suggestions. To handle criticism appropriately, start with identifying its type.

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Negative criticism/workplace attacks

If someone claims that you didn’t fully contribute to the recent team project, were always late or didn’t meet deadlines, and you are sure that the claim is inaccurate, then you have probably faced the negative criticism. It’s the most unpleasant type of feedback to receive, as it’s rarely constructive and is often used to control you and demean the contribution you made.

How to react to negative criticism

  1. If untrue claims are made, ask to provide the specific examples when this happened. Great if you can provide evidence for your words. If the situation is about your contribution, sometimes it helps to discuss it in detail – maybe, you have different perception of your contribution.
  2. If the feedback touches your personality or events which are out of your control, you have likely faced the workplace bullying. Try escalating this question to upper management.
  3. Don’t put up with this sort of attacks as they are likely to persist if you do so.

Constructive criticism

If your manager or other team member draws your attention to some feedback, but in a way which is negotiable and not overly negative, you need to deal with constructive criticism. It’s a real gift if you know how to take advantage of it.

Responding to constructive criticism

  1. Listen carefully what is being said
    However obvious it sounds, it’s better to listen to what you are being said and ask the questions to make sure you’ve fully understood the feedback. Moreover, your boss will see that you are interested in improving your weak points and value his/her opinion. And this always has a positive effect on your career development.
  2. Assume that they have good intentions
    If the criticism doesn’t fall under negative criticism described above, most likely, your boss’s intentions are good. So, even the feedback you’ve received isn’t positive, there are any reasons to get defensive or offended, as both are wrong ways to receive criticism.
  3. Ask for tips or guidance
    The constructive criticism isn’t always supported by advice on how to change the situation. So, it’s up to you to ask our manager/supervisor about how to deliver better results or do a specific task more efficiently. Thus, you won’t take the criticism passively but will show your enthusiasm in professional development and company’s success. You can also ask for guidance in areas which are not relevant to feedback you’ve received, as well as inquire where you do well to keep it up. 
  4. Keep your temper under control
    When the boss is evidently angry, frustrated or upset and is heavily criticizes your work, it’s hard to keep your emotions under control. Nevertheless, if you keep the same tone during the discussion, the feedback can easily turn into a fight. So, if one side is not able to discuss things calmly, insist on discussing your work at different time.
    Keeping your emotions in control applies to all workplace communications, not only receiving feedback. However tempting it is, these topics should be never discussed at work: https://resumeperk.com/blog/top-taboo-topics-you-should-never-discuss-with-colleagues.
  5. Don’t take feedback personally
    If we are speaking of constructive criticism, they are criticizing your work, not your personality. So, you should never take the criticism personally. What you should do is to learn from your mistakes. If, for example, the boss points out at your being late, do your best to become an early bird and change the situation for better.
  6. See constructive criticism as a hand of help
    Most often, feedback is the sign that management is interested in your doing the work better. That’s why you should see any feedback – even negative one – with positive attitude. It’s much better than if people saw your poor performance and said nothing. Criticism helps you grow professionally and personally, even if you are working for a friend.
  7. Learn from your mistakes
    One of the strongest skills of successful individuals is the willingness to learn from their mistakes (Want to know more about skills that determine professional success? See more here: https://resumeperk.com/blog/10-skills-for-career-success-from-cv-proofreading-service). When pointed out at a disadvantage or negative aspect of work and fixed it, you’ll become one step closer to your professional goals. The ability to learn from your mistakes and become stronger will also help you grow personally.
    Moreover, ability to accept criticism and improve your weak points develops such important trait of character as adaptability. You are learning to embrace the change and make growth your top priority.

What is actually a criticism?

Some employees take criticism as negative feedback to their work. They perceive it as an offensive thing ruining their self-esteem and self-worth. In fact, it’s absolutely not true.

Every issue can be described from different perspectives, and effective criticism is just what you need to see the real picture. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, even experts do it. And a professional assessment of the situation helps us to avoid negative consequences. Its main purpose is to give constructive feedback, which implies:

  • a detailed analysis of the criticized object or process;
  • recommendations on how to improve the situation;
  • answers to your clarifying questions;
  • a new perspective must be well-argued.

Efficient criticism can contain both negative and positive feedback. However, the person delivering such assessments deserves respect and a proper attitude. 

Constructive criticism has to be differentiated from destructive criticism. Thus, a professional view is a key element of an acceptable feedback culture.

Here are the signs of inappropriate criticism:

  • negative comments without argumentation;
  • personal attacks, anger, aggressive body language;
  • a lack of constructive conversation and adequate response to your own words;

If you hear rude words or ambiguous explanations instead of a good attitude and fact-based explanations, this conversation has nothing in common with adequate criticism.

Employees who want to offend you and specialists who want to teach you are not the same people. Empty talks do not work the same way as criticism does.

Psychological recommendations on handling criticism

Receiving criticism can become an unpleasant surprise, and it can even destabilize the person. Confusion can be the initial reaction in this case. To avoid this state, one should remain calm and preserve a cold mind.

Focus on the information

Try to overcome the first reaction and concentrate your attention on the facts and explanations. Set your sentiments aside for a while and analyze all the things that you hear. Maybe a new different perspective will be extremely helpful. Shift the focus from feelings to objective facts. Such a technique helps you to take your mind off unnecessary emotions.

Acknowledge your mistakes

An open mind is an essential feature for the contemporary specialist. Develop objectivity and extend the horizons of your knowledge. Thus, you will be prepared for a follow-up meeting and potential criticism.

Relaxing techniques

We personally remember yoga techniques helping to calm down. They are about deep breath and concentration. You can have your own methods: for instance, one can think about positive memories and count to ten. With unlimited access to Internet resources and free newsletter advertising campaigns, it is easy to find alternative ways too.

All the truth about criticism

Honestly, there is a fair share of criticism in the life of any person. Be you a skilled expert or a newcomer, you’ll constantly deal with it. Constructive discussions are essential instruments to reach success. They do not have to make a negative impact on your self-confidence. Stay calm and apply critical thinking. These rules will help you handle criticism with dignity.

When you are capable of accepting criticism and using it to improve what you do every day, it provides you with the number of surefire benefits. Firstly, you strengthen your communication skills and relationship in team, as negotiating your weaknesses and opportunities for growth helps you become more empathetic. Secondly, you are shown the concrete areas for growth which you can fix or, if these are complex issues, consider when creating your career plan. And finally, by correcting your weaknesses, you become a better professional and a stronger personality.

Can you handle the criticism of your resume?

Constructive criticism is a way to perfection not only in the office. This applies to every other aspect of your life, including job hunting and resume writing. Speaking of the latter, our company offers you an excellent opportunity to receive feedback on your resume from a professional resume writer. This is absolutely free of charge.

Why request a resume critique? There might be multiple reasons for it:

One way or another, a resume critique is a good starting point for improving your resume – and your chances for interview call accordingly.

How does it work? All you need to do is to submit your resume through the contact form and the writer will contact you back in 24 hours with a letter indicating the strengths of your resume and areas which need improvement. You can use the critique to rewrite a resume on your own or hire a professional resume writer to do the job for you.

Have you ever faced the criticism at the workplace? How did you respond to it and was it helpful?

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