All of us have faced criticism at one point in life – at home, school or workplace. However, the biggest mistake we make is to fear being criticized. We tend to look at criticism as something negative and end up becoming defensive and angry towards it. However, this only complicates the situation further, as we overlook the learning we could take away in the entire process. You can either make use of criticism in a constructive manner or get bogged down. We tell you a few simple ways to deal with criticism to be able to take it in your stride.
1. Do not respond immediately: The biggest mistake you can make is to respond to criticism instantly. Give yourself a few hours to cool down and analyze the situation before you engage in a heated debate/email discussion. Once you’ve given yourself time, you will be able to understand the situation clearly and respond in a rational manner. This not only saves an awkward situation with your boss/colleagues but also lets you rid of feelings like anger, sadness etc.
2. Understand the intention: Without critical appreciation of your work, there will be no room for improvement or personal growth. Sometimes we get so absorbed in our daily routine that it makes our efforts monotonous and we lose the bigger picture. So if you receive criticism from your boss or colleague, then stop to ask yourself –
– Why did I not like what is being said?
– Is there a way I can improve/fix the situation?
Be a good listener but do not absorb all that is said about you without filtering the essential information out.
3. Do not over-analyze: Have you ever received an email from your boss which you read over and over again? Criticism can be damaging if you overthink as the situation may not be as bad as you may think. There is something we all know as “constructive criticism” and not every comment/feedback needs to be taken personally. Stay positive, keep your stress levels down and get rid of the feeling inside which tells you you’re not good enough.
4. Fix your attitude: We all always want to be right but sometimes it is important to get direction from someone who is more experienced than us. Don’t let your ego overpower when you are being criticized. It is advisable to not take this personally but this comes with a slight caution. If you feel you are being targeted too often without much reason, then consult your manager or boss to get clarity on the actual situation.
5. Turn criticism into goals: All of us make mistakes and it is a part of us being human. Instead of putting your head down and losing confidence, use this opportunity to turn the feedback into goals. Whether it’s time management or being a better team player, make these your goals for the next 3 months and you will be able to channel your thoughts and efforts in the right direction.
Keep these simple tips in mind to wade through the rocky waves of words on any given day. 🙂