How do you handle criticism at work? Most people would like to avoid criticism as much as possible, and will go to great lengths to keep from being targeted. However, there are ways to handle it that can help you keep a positive mindset.
Types of Criticism
There are two main types of criticism. One is the kind that is simply being judgmental toward another person or their work without regard to their feelings or if you are helping them. This is known as destructive criticism.
The other kind is more thoughtful and does take into consideration the well-being and growth of the person on the receiving end. This is called constructive criticism, and is the best type to have coming your way.
Different people handle criticism in different ways, as there are many types of personalities out there. Some people respond with defensiveness, anger, getting upset, or even crying depending on how the words are said.
Some of the best ways to handle criticism are to be detached to what is being said and listening to the information that is being given to you. Ideally, you will be experiencing constructive criticism, but either way, it is wise to consider whether there is any truth to what is being said.
No matter the delivery, oftentimes that hurtful observation from a co-worker or your boss has some truth to it. Do you spend too much time taking breaks to be on your phone? Do you think that your idea is the best every time there is a company meeting?
These are things you can look at and consider. Maybe you need a change in your attitude or in your perspective. If you see that you are doing those things that are being pointed out, maybe it is time for an adjustment to your behavior. Taking criticism well and listening is also a sign of a good leader. Read more in our blog, 4 Tips for Becoming a Better Leader.
Of course, there are times when someone is upset about something and just wants to vent their emotions, and you are the unfortunate target. In this case, it is important to speak up for yourself.
In situations where you are doing your best work, and someone constantly has bad things to say to you, you can always talk to a superior. This is not helping the atmosphere in the workplace, and may start to affect your performance.
The best way to deal with this person directly is to not react to them, as this often spurs them on. Do not take personally what they are saying, as it is their own issue and insecurities that are being directed towards you.
These are some of the best words that someone can speak to you. Many times, people with more experience or skills can help you by pointing out something that you could be doing better. In this scenario, they want to help you improve and take your work to the next level.
This type of criticism can help you to self-reflect and make a decision as to whether you will make a change or if you will continue at your current state. When people decide to take constructive criticism and use it to their advantage, great progress can be made, and can make you stand out at work.
Being able to take criticism and use it to better yourself is a good skill to have, as well as being able to give someone else constructive criticism. It may help you to get a raise or even a promotion!