No matter how well you work, you will receive negative feedback some time in your career. Read on for tips on how to handle criticism at work and impress your boss at the same time.
Don’t take it personally
If you click away from this page with only one takeaway, it’s this one. Please don’t take any criticism personally. It’s not always easy, but work on removing yourself from any negative feedback. Just because you have an area for development doesn’t mean that you aren’t the funny, intelligent, good looking person you always have been. Your boss is giving you the courtesy of making you aware of something about the way you work that you can improve on to make you even more awesome than you already are.
If your boss is making it personal, then that’s a whole different ball game. Know your limits and your willingness to put up with your boss. Don’t be afraid to speak up (to your boss or HR) or walk away.
Don’t try to be right
Don’t fight too hard to defend yourself in the face of some feedback. It will annoy your boss and it’ll lengthens the feedback process. Take the “agree to disagree” position and let your boss get their point across and determine within yourself how you’ll take on the feedback.
Do ask for a game plan
Your boss wants you to work better in one aspect of your role, but do they offer advice on how to actually change this? If they don’t, speak up! Put the ball in their court, ask for their suggestions and you’ll win points from your boss at the same time.
Do learn from it
Reflect on what your boss had to say and decide how you’ll change your workplace practice. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be much; a minor tweak to a methodology you already use.
Do move on from it
Once the situation is in the past, leave it there. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t keep harping on about it to your boss.
Criticism isn’t nice, but you can make it work for you
Unless you’re made of steel, criticism is going to sting. As you move through your career, though, you DO get better at hearing it.
I really hope that if you’re ever on the receiving end of some less-than-positive feedback from your boss, that your boss is respectful of you as a professional about it. You don’t deserve to be treated like sh*t because there’s some room to move in your performance.