Tuesday, 17 April 2012

How To Handle Criticism At Work

Criticism is not always a bad thing. The last thing anybody wants is to be drawn up by the manager for their performance or missing deadlines. But if taken in the right vein, you might actually discover it to be quite valuable.

Here is how to deal with criticism at work.

1 - One of the hardest types of criticisms to deal with is an unfair allegation. Even though it’s appealing, never level a return with unpleasant criticism yourself. The accuser may have just been wrong. Instead ask the criticizer about their concerns and probe into their feedback. Often there is some actual cause for their allegation. If their allegation is truly unfair you can solve the issue there and then.

2 - If you instantly go on the defensive, your critic will think you haven't heard them. They might try a different tack to get you to accept their point of view, or may continue with attacking your defense. By showing that you hear them successfully, you are going to indicate that you are familiar with their critique and that you plan to follow up on the issue. Even better, ask what they would do about the issue if they were in your situation. It may be they have ideas you haven't considered.

3 - If the discussion becomes heated, lower your voice for every level your critic raises theirs. This shows not only that you are calm and collected, but puts the focus on the other person and their behaviour.

4 - Display that you are more concerned with fixing the issue than arguing for your perspective. Never be too fast to protect yourself or assess your accuser, and take the problems and recommendations in your stride. This shows you have your priorities right.

5 - Ask your critic to be more specific. If your critic has indicated displeasure with your performance or said that your efficiency is not up to the required level, it makes sense to know why they think that. Once you know what exactly you did poorly, you can deal with the situation. Often, not asking for more detailed feedback when receiving criticism, results in a poor understanding of what you may have done wrong, and the problem persists, reflecting badly on you and your critic.

6 - Accept responsibility if you have done something poorly or incorrectly. Nothing shows capability like admitting your failings and being open in how you are going to go about improving. Someone who is ready to accept their mistakes can be trusted to take on responsibilities, and deal with problems as they turn up, not hide them under the rug and deny knowledge or responsibility.


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