How To Handle Criticism In The Workplace


Sometimes it may seem like you’ve done everything in your power to get things right at work but there are just days that you won’t be able to win with your boss. Your boss will give you criticism and it could be just small comments throughout the day that can add up and catch you off-guard. The way you handle the criticism is what determines whether you make it further up the ladder or not. If you can’t handle the constructive feedback it could very well negatively impact your career.

No one enjoys being criticized because it could often times it can feel like a personal attack. That’s not the case, your boss is just trying to help you improve at your job. When you take in the feedback, it opens up the line for communication and can really improve your working relationships. A study done by consultant Marcial Losada and Academic Emily Heaphy in the Harvard Business Review, found that feedback from your boss is essential because it “has the ability to grab someone’s attention” and “guard against complacency.”

So before getting defensive about some negative feedback that the boss threw your way, think about the reasons for it. Your boss gave you the job because he saw that you had long-term potential. He or she has been there and done that during his own career and that is why they are at the top now. So in the end, he or she is just trying to help you advance your role. If you want to do this, understand the criticism that your boss gives you and do something with it.

It is natural to feel like you should get defensive, but in this case, that is the worst thing you can do. It will only make the situation worse and prevent you from moving forward in your career. If co-workers and bosses can’t approach you with practical criticism for fear of an emotional outburst, then there is no room for improvement. Don’t take any work criticism personally and learn from it. You will see that you will be rewarded for it in the end as you see the improvement that you’ve made.

It is important that you take a minute to process the feedback and think about it. Give yourself appropriate time to digest it and formulate a professional response not based on emotion. With that being said, good luck!


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