How to Handle Criticism in the Workplace Like a Pro

Written by Michelle Anama Abari

Michelle is a content writer that loves writing as much as she loves reading. Her writing talks on issues relating to business and finance and other issues beyond finances where she aims to give knowledge on how to achieve one's personal best. When she's not writing, her favourite past time is reading and seeking adventures.

September 26, 2021

How do you take criticism?  A lot of people do not know how to answer this question, most don’t even know if they can handle criticism at all. Criticism can come at any time and most of the time it happens in school, on news, in a cooking contest, and most especially in the workplace. Most people do not know how to handle criticism in the workplace and this can be detrimental to them and also their job.

While criticism can be taken as hurtful and demoralizing, it can also be viewed positively. Knowing how to handle criticism in the workplace is very important. Another thing is that people do not know how to handle criticism from the boss and this is not good. Your boss has certain expectations you have to meet in the company. So you not handling criticism well can be to both you and the company’s disadvantage.

Criticisms are sometimes honesty and can help us do better. To know how to handle criticism at the workplace and also handle criticism from your boss, you should read this article.

10 Ways You Can Gracefully Handle Criticism In The Workplace

 1. Stop Your First Reaction

Before you lash back or have a comeback talk with someone who is criticizing you, take a minute before reacting at all. Sometimes it’s best to lay back and listen. If you need to respond, take a deep breath, and give it a little thought.

The truth is that a lot of people are in this group. People get defensive and make excuses about things that don’t need too much talk on. Do not get defensive and start making excuses, sometimes it’s best just to listen and think of your next words before saying anything.

To do this, you need to learn how to effectively control your emotions.

2. Thanking The Critic Is A Good Way to Handle Criticism at The Workplace

You might think that this point does not make sense and I get why, but you need to know that even if someone is harsh and rude, thank them. Your attitude of gratitude will probably catch them off-guard.

You also need to understand that being thankful does not make you look silly or a laughing stock. In the actual sense, it makes you the bigger person and mature! This act shows that you are immune to negative talks and you do know how to handle criticism well. Most of the time it could even be your boss who gives the harsh criticism and saying a ‘thank you will catch them off-guard.

3. Give The Person A Chance to Talk Without Interrupting

When trying to handle criticism, you should let the person criticizing you have the time to talk to you. You don’t have to interrupt them or try to defend yourself. Ask the person to explain further and expatiate on their feedback.

If you do this, you are not only giving the person a chance to talk but you are also understanding where you would have gone wrong.

Also, you will be noticing your flaws which you would have to work on later.

4. Remain Calm And Don’t Take It Personal

People tend to take criticisms to heart a lot. This can be a problem for people at work because they won’t be effective as they should if they take things personally.

To not take criticisms personally, you should let yourself know that, not all criticisms are meant to be helpful and also hurtful. You should always try to look for the positive in every criticism because it lightens up your mood and makes you effective at work.

5. Take It as A Way To Become Less Sensitive

This point is similar to that of the first point. Here, you have to challenge yourself to control your emotions and avoid overreacting.

By challenging yourself not to overreact, you get to realize that it is not everything you should blow up for. By being too sensitive, you easily get triggered and this act won’t help you last at your workplace.

So taking criticisms in the workplace will help you handle it more gracefully and also will help you tolerate and be more effective at your workplace.

6. Give Yourself Some Grace

You need to understand that everyone makes mistakes, and no one knows everything. No matter how good you are at your job and how much experience you have, there is always more to learn.

Learn to give yourself some credit by giving a pat on your shoulder, even if no one else does. You deserve it. You need to understand that criticisms do happen and you need to give yourself some positive inspiration.

7. Remember The Benefits Of Getting Feedback

When taking criticism, you have a few seconds to realize that there are benefits to what your criticizer is telling you. There are benefits of taking constructive criticism at work. Some of them include improving your skills, your relationship with your colleagues, increasing your productivity and helping you meet the expectations of your boss at work.

8. Listening Carefully Is A Good Way To Handle Criticism At The Workplace

When receiving criticism at work, you should listen to understand and not wait to lash out at the person. You may feel like shutting down and not taking into consideration what the other person is saying, but should not be so.

When facing criticism it is relevant to listen and comprehend what the person is trying to say. Try to remain objective and open to their comments and opinions.

9. Avoiding Criticizing Others Back Is Another Way To Handle Criticism At The Workplace

This is also somewhat similar to the first point. You don’t have to criticize just because you were criticized. There was every possibility that the person was just trying to be a good colleague and have your back.

As I stated earlier, you don’t have to take everything you’re told to heart. Don’t take things personally and try to sieve out the good from every criticism.

10. Differentiate Constructive Criticism From Destructive Criticism

Like I’ve mentioned before in the article, sieve out the good comments and ideas from the bad. In every workplace, some managers and colleagues want to see their workers fail. The idea on this point is to know the difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism.

The main point here is to know when someone is just being plain rude and arrogant and just trying to get under your skin. Just toughen up and know which constructive critic to go meet that will help you enhance your skills at work.

Bottom Line

The truth is that no one is above criticism and so it is advised to learn how to handle it most especially in the workplace.  If it makes you feel better, Kobe Bryant(RIP) holds the record for missed shots in the NBA.

The famous basketball coach John Wooden called it a mistake to get too caught up in either praise or negative criticism. If you learn to handle and filter all criticisms, you’ll live a happier life and get closer to your goals.  

Check out these quotes that will help you find your purpose in life

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