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Handling Criticism in the Workplace


Receiving Criticism in the workplace

Receiving constructive criticism from bosses or colleagues in the workplace can be upsetting or perhaps infuriating for some. Unfortunately, it is very easy to let our emotions get the better of us in certain situations and in turn people can react to criticism with anger or upset. It is important to take a step back and remember that constructive criticism helps us identify our weaknesses and improves our overall work performance.


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When receiving constructive criticism listen to the comments being made without interruption. Recognise that the person you are listening to may be nervous about giving you this feedback. When finished listening repeat back what you have taken from the feedback to ensure there are no misinterpretations.

Don’t be defensive

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Hold back your initial defensive response and reply calmly and diplomatically. Recognise that feedback can be a fantastic way of identifying our weaknesses and improving our work performance.

How can you improve

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Ask yourself and your colleague how you can improve and put steps in place to make this happen.

Do not hold grudges

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Do not hold a grudge against your colleague or boss. Assume that the person giving constructive criticism is not out to get you and just suggesting ways things can be improved.

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Note: If after following the above steps you feel that the person is being overly negative, aggressive or  personally attacking you, be sure to remove yourself from the situation ASAP. This is unprofessional, and no one should have to put up with this at work. If this persists take this up with your supervisor or HR.



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