Most people don’t react well to criticism as they associate it with rejection and failing.  Some feel a sense of worthlessness too.

We tend to take criticism very personally and therefore we respond in a ‘wounded way.’

Either we get very angry and want revenge, or we turn it all inwards on ourselves, often withdrawing or disengaging with people and/or situations.

However, the intention of criticism or ‘constructive feedback’ in the workplace should be to always help individuals to improve, to learn, develop and grow and therefore to progress in their careers.

Of course, how we react to criticism or constructive feedback does depend on how it is delivered to us.

Some tips that will help you to deal with Criticism better are:

  1. Separate it from you. It is not personal.
  2. The intention of criticism is to help you to improve your performance, to learn, develop and grow which will help you to progress in your career.
  3. It may invite you to look at different perspectives or different ways of doing things.
  4. It invites you to use more of your potential.

When someone criticises you:

  • Ask yourself ‘Is this criticism true?’
  • If you deem it to be true, try not to get offended or defensive about it.
  • If it is true, agree with it. But don’t surrender your sense of self-worth.
  • Take what is being said on board and make whatever changes you need to.
  • If you deem it to be untrue, deny it with conviction.
  • If invalid or unfair criticism persist ask for evidence or examples.This gets the criticiser to own and be responsible for their criticism.  If they can’t come up with any evidence or examples, you stand tall. If they do, you need to look at the evidence and decide what it is that you need or want to change.