As soon as you start working, it's good to know how to deal with criticism at work. This criticism could be from your coworkers, your boss, even clients or customers. No matter what, it sucks. Unfortunately, knowing how to deal with criticism at work is something that comes with just about every job. Your best bet is to learn the best ways to cope with it:
- No Matter What, Don't Take the Criticism Personally. Too many people, young people especially, are discouraged by criticism. If everyone simply shut down after being critcized at work, nothing would ever get done and nothing would ever be improved. People are generally trying to help you when they give you suggestions. Also, they aren't criticizing you as a person, they're only trying to modify your work behavior. Adapt to the criticism and use it to strengthen your future work.
- Who is the Source of Criticism? Your reaction to criticism should depend on the source of the criticism. If it's your boss, you want to respectfully acknowledge his or her advice. Unless your boss specifically asks why you did something, don't try to defend what you did. Many employers these days think that younger generations are simply too arrogant to take advice. If the critical person is a coworker, you should acknowledge the criticism and then try to explain the way you are doing things. Try to compromise with your coworkers and, if another way of doing things is actually proven to be better, give up the fight. There's no pride in stubbornly doing the same wrong thing over and over. If the critical person is a client or customer, they are usually not critiquing you so much as the company. Don't talk back. Gently explain the situation to them and why things are the way they are.
- Be Humble, Self-Deprecating, or a Confident Compromiser. Too often you will find that you react to criticism at work by resenting the person who does the criticizing. Don't bother. It's a waste of time. When you are criticized, there are three options: humbly accept the criticism and thank the person for the advice, laugh and say, "I can't believe I didn't think of that, that's so much better!" or try to tell your own view on what the person is criticizing, so you can try to find a common goal.
- Don't Carry the Criticism With You. Either change your methods, therefore adapting to the criticism, or incorporate some aspect of it into your future work. Don't just stew about the criticism and bring it back home with you. This isn't healthy.
- Your Life Outside of Work Has Nothing to Do With Work Criticism. Contrary to what it may sometimes seem, your job is not your life. If you are really want to deal with criticism at work, just remind yourself that you can do many other things well. Not only that, remind yourself that, with enough dedication, you can overcome the criticism by improving what was criticized.
The bottom line is that, to really deal with criticism at work, you have to use the criticism as a motivator, not as a discouragement. Take the advice and improve what you will with it. Don't take it personally, don't hold grudges because of it, and always keep working to improve yourself. If you always do this, there will come a day when you never have to deal with criticism at work again.
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