It’s great when you’re doing a great job and being recognised for it at work. But sometimes when we’re not doing something exactly right, constructive criticism can be an even greater reward as it offers you the opportunity to grow and improve your performance. Even if it might not feel like it!
Nobody likes a slap on the wrist, but negative criticism shouldn’t be viewed that way. Approaching it with the right attitude can help you see constructive criticism for what it is — a way to get ahead in your job and to perform even better.
5 tips to help you handle constructive criticism
1. At first, don’t react
When people criticise your work, your first reaction may be to defend yourself, especially if you disagree with what is being said. The problem with defending yourself is that it closes you off to the great gift that constructive criticism may offer — insight into the way you can improve your performance.
It may also discourage the person offering the criticism to elaborate, which means that you may be missing out on valuable input that could have made a meaningful difference to your work. Rather than reacting, try to absorb what is being said so that you can think it over when you’re feeling less emotional and less defensive.
Many misunderstandings happen because people don’t listen. Not everyone is a natural communicator and your manager may feel nervous about giving you negative feedback, which may also make their message come across in the wrong way.
Instead of jumping to conclusions make sure you understand them correctly. Repeat their message back to them to prevent any misunderstandings. Don’t interrupt them while they’re speaking, rather make it your main priority to understand.
3. Ask questions
If you need more details, such as examples to demonstrate the points your manager is making, now is the time to ask. For example, you can say: “I don’t understand what changes you need from me regarding my weekly reports. Can we look at the most recent one I did for a better understanding?” Asking for clarity can help you to really grasp the constructive feedback and to make it your own.
4. Ask for a follow-up meeting
If you need to think about the criticism you received or if you want to make sure you’re implementing the changes your manager suggested correctly, request a follow-up meeting. This will give you an opportunity to also suggest alternative solutions or to ask for additional resources, for example, an updated software program or additional training if their suggestions are impractical or beyond your current skill set.
5. Say thank you
Remember to thank your manager for their feedback. It’s important to show appreciation for the time they took to evaluate your work and to invest in you as an employee.
Read more: Is the word ‘busy’ ruining your life?
When to confront negative criticism
Sometimes people use negative feedback to bring you down or to attack you on a personal level. In these cases, consider standing up for yourself in a professional manner by sticking to the facts and by highlighting unfair criticism. You may also want to keep a record of these incidents should you need to defend yourself in future. Unfair criticism will usually be:
- An attack on your personality or your differences.
- About something that is not your fault.
- Delivered in an aggressive manner.
Negative feedback can be a great way to gain insight into your weaknesses. Don’t take it personally, but use it as a tool to improve your performance and to grow in your career.
Republished from e|Care, an online portal for health and wellness by Health|Insite. Website: www.healthinsite.net. Tel: 0861 066 666