Q&A: How To Handle Criticism At Work

How to handle criticism at work
  1. Control your reaction. …
  2. Try not to take it personally. …
  3. Process the criticism. …
  4. Give yourself some grace. …
  5. Show appreciation. …
  6. Show humility. …
  7. Apologize conservatively. …
  8. Do not dwell on the criticism.

It appears I lack that quality, as I have struggled to accept criticism throughout my career, even when it was entirely accurate. My mind races as I try to come up with an explanation for the assault on my person and then a response to justify whatever actions are in question as soon as I hear the words.

Unfortunately, many of us react insensitively and angrily in the heat of the moment, or even worse, we attack the person providing feedback. But the truth is, we need to get over it. Constructive criticism helps us identify our weaknesses, which not only allows us to maintain relationships but also makes everything we do more successful.

How to Handle Criticism at Work – Project Management Training

Who provides constructive workplace criticism?

Your manager, peers, the human resources department, or other coworkers may offer you constructive criticism.

What is constructive criticism?

Constructive criticism is considerate, well-informed feedback that advances your professional goals. It’s not an attempt to discredit you, place the blame for events beyond your control, or make you feel bad about yourself or damage your reputation.

How is constructive criticism provided?

Constructive criticism could be given to you in an email, meeting, casual conversation, or performance review. You might receive constructive criticism during training or regularly scheduled development sessions. During the course of your typical workday, individuals may also provide you with constructive criticism as problems arise.

How can you handle constructive workplace criticism?

You can take a variety of actions to maximize the benefits of constructive criticism from your boss or coworkers. The next time you receive constructive criticism at work, try:

Recognizing the good intention behind it

Recognizing the motivation behind constructive criticism is the first step when receiving it. Always assume the best intentions from the people providing criticism. They don’t intend to make you feel bad or embarrassed; instead, they just want to help you out. It might be helpful to compare criticism to an unpleasant vitamin supplement; while it may cause mild discomfort at first, it is intended to be beneficial.

Freeing yourself from emotional responses, defensiveness and excuses

Having an initial emotional reaction to hearing criticism is natural. It’s acceptable to want to justify your decisions and deeds. When receiving professional criticism, though, set aside those impulses. There is no need to attempt to defend your prior decisions or actions because constructive criticism is meant to help you improve your future work. You are prepared to hear the criticism offered and implement it once you are aware that it is well-intentioned and that you don’t need to defend or explain anything.

Actively listening so you actually hear the constructive criticism

You’re willing to hear criticism if it comes with good intentions and you realize you don’t need to be defensive. Concentrate on the conversation and how it relates to your work. Actively listen and confirm what you hear by saying it aloud. You could say, “I hear you asking me to spend more time on daily reporting and less time on responding to customer emails,” for instance. This enables you to take in the criticism and give it some thought.

Staying objective and not taking it personally

Another way to respond to criticism professionally is to keep in mind that it’s not personal. Workplace criticism is not directed at you as an individual. The people who are offering it don’t discount your worth as a person. Consider switching the roles so that you are the one providing constructive criticism. Empathy for the person providing feedback aids in reiterating that the conversation is about the work and not the individuals involved

Appreciating the offer to help you succeed

Your attitude about receiving feedback is vital. For instance, you might choose to ignore criticism if you view it as an unnecessary annoyance. Choose to see criticism as an offer of help. Give thanks for the encouragement and drive you have to do your job well and get better. When you consider constructive criticism as help, you start to look forward to it.

Being nice to yourself

Even though you are aware that constructive criticism isn’t meant to be personal, you might still be too hard on yourself sometimes. Remember, no one is perfect. No matter how much you think you know, there is always more to discover. Congratulate yourself on your accomplishments, then project future achievements based on what you learned from the feedback. After receiving criticism, if you catch yourself being overly critical of yourself, try being more sympathetic and put yourself in their shoes. This might encourage you to treat yourself with the same compassion that you would show for others.

Getting clarification on points you may not understand or initially agree with

Get clarification as soon as you can if you have any questions about anything you read in the criticism. You can follow up after you have had time to consider the criticism or you can ask clarification questions as you are receiving the feedback. Make certain you comprehend the request so that any corrective action you take is appropriate.

Planning a follow-up session to mark your progress

Setting up a time to check in and assess your progress is a crucial component of maximizing the advice you receive. Set a calendar reminder for yourself to schedule time together. Be ready to provide examples of how you have used the advice. Bring proof of the new posting schedule with you when you meet to address the criticism, for instance, if you were advised to increase your department’s social media posting from three to five times weekly.

Thanking the person who provided the feedback

Thank the person who offered the criticism and express appreciation for the time and thought they put into it. Let them know that you appreciate the offer of help. By expressing your gratitude, you can demonstrate your appreciation for their work and let them know how much you value your working relationship. Say something like, “Thank you for considering this and sharing your thoughts with me. I appreciate how this can help me improve my performance. I’m eager to let you know how I implement your valuable advice. “.


What is the best way to handle criticism?

Cope with criticism
  1. Remain calm. You are much less likely to be able to listen and comprehend what is being said if you have a tendency to get angry or defensive when someone criticizes you.
  2. Pay attention. …
  3. Ask questions. …
  4. Don’t be tempted to criticise back. …
  5. Come to a resolution. …
  6. Learning from mistakes and experience.

How do I stop being sensitive to criticism?

Tips for Handling Criticism
  1. Relax and Listen. The initial step is to remain composed and pay close attention to what the other person is saying.
  2. Respond to the Content, not the Tone. …
  3. Don’t Respond Immediately. …
  4. Ask the Critic Questions to Better Understand. …
  5. Decide if the Criticism is Valid. …
  6. Stick to the Issue.

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