How to Respond to Criticism at Work

No one enjoys criticism, especially at work. When your supervisor disapproves of you, you imagine your security is at stake. After all, those in charge call the shots, and you don’t want to lose a promotion, or worse, your job. As a result, you shift to fight or flight – an uncomfortable state – and become defensive. But, justifying the actions deemed unsatisfactory isn’t helpful. You need to know how to respond in ways that serve you when criticized.

Focus on your intention

Instead of getting upset, focus on the outcome you hope to meet when you respond to criticism. Consider what you want to achieve. No doubt, you want to come across as professional and willing to learn from your mistakes. A Washington DC Career Coach states, once you have a constructive intention in mind, you can craft how to respond in a way that suits your needs.

Hit your internal pause button

If you retort rapidly, you’re likely to say things you regret. Hasty people react from the animal part of their brain that deals with survival instead of using logic. Take a moment to gain composure and breathe before answering. Verbally reflect what you hear, using different words, and you’ll win extra time. Doing so will show you are listening. It provides a chance for misunderstandings to be cleared up too.

Don’t take criticism to heart

Everyone faces criticism at work how they respond influences what happens next. Those who take criticism to heart lose confidence or experience resentment. Try not to take matters personally; it’s not about whether your supervisor likes you or sees you as competent. Even higher management make mistakes or meet disagreements sometimes.

Evaluate criticism

You may agree or disagree with the criticism. But, if you identify no faults, take stock and think again. Possibly, you haven’t made significant mistakes. There might be an element of truth in the disapproval leveled at you though. Are you to blame for not providing clarity, for instance? Consider whether you could have been more efficient.

How you respond to criticism at work may change your career prospects. It might also influence how your boss and colleagues view you. Maintain a calm presence, think before you speak, and don’t take things personally. As a result, you’ll react positively. Evaluating criticism and learning from it will make you wiser too.