Though many don’t like being criticised, constructive criticism can be extremely valuable to your work. How else would we identify weaknesses and areas of improvement? Being able to handle it objectively will only help you maintain relationships and be more successful in everything you do. So The next time you receive constructive criticism from your superior or a peer, use these six steps to handle criticism at work.
1. Stop your first reaction
Pause before you react. Take a moment to breathe, stay calm and avoid getting defensive. People who are defensive about criticism are less happy with their job, and have low performance ratings and low self-esteem. Think carefully before you respond.
2. Listen carefully
Listen carefully to the feedback and show that you’ve acknowledged it. One good technique is to repeat what the person said. It shows that you are listening and also will help you remember the feedback in the future.
3. Ask questions
Constructive criticism can be extremely beneficial to your work performance and to your career. Ask questions to be sure that you completely understand the situation, the feedback and what you need to do to improve in the future. Avoid engaging in a debate.
4. Say thank you
Thank the person for taking the time to give you feedback and the opportunity to improve based upon it. Expressing appreciation doesn’t have to mean you’re agreeing with the assessment, but it does show that you’re acknowledging the effort taken to evaluate you and share his or her thoughts.
5. Follow up
If the constructive criticism concerns a big issue, you may want to schedule time to follow up. This will give you a chance to find out if your performance has improved. Hopefully, by this point in the conversation, you can agree on the issues that were raised.
Try your very best not to take feedback personally. You’ll be much better off if you listen to feedback objectively and realise that it’s not a reflection on what the person thinks of you as a person, but rather a thoughtful appraisal of your work.
Everyone makes mistakes—your boss does, too. Your career will be better off if you view constructive criticism as a positive thing. It gives you the opportunity to improve and be the best you can be!