Who doesn’t loathe being criticized? Be it your friends, acquaintances, parents, children, spouse, boss, or even co-workers, no one is spared from criticism. However, whenever given an opportunity, these people do not leave any opportunity to pop out from nowhere and start finding faults in you. Criticism usually comes through comments, but it is very much possible to receive it via a look, a sigh, or even a silence. While you can handle criticism from your family and well-wishers, accepting criticism at work turns to be a more difficult job. That’s where the problem begins. How many times have you received a not-so-good or a negative feedback from your seniors and sulked over it? If it’s been a number of times, you know how intolerant it becomes. Although some people get accustomed to accepting criticism and using it to their benefits, there are others who just cannot accept criticism, come what may. Only if you think from the other perspective, you will realize how valuable criticism can actually be. Not only will it help you identify your errors and fix them, but you can even plan a future venture in a better manner. However, handling criticism, in the first instance, is essential before you begin jotting down points for your future projects. For, taking in too much of increased stress and tension at work can result in more criticism, thereby leading to reduced morale and conflicts at the workplace. Check out how you can handle criticism effectively and use it for your personal development.
Listen & Acknowledge
Irrespective of whether you like it or not, acknowledge the criticism that’s coming your way. Do not take any step that shows your rejection and never behave as though you aren’t listening. Plus, avoid jumping instantly to a conclusion and offending your critic, simply because you are being judged that way. Instead, you can anytime be a little gentle and make statements, like “I didn’t know you felt that way. Thanks for bringing it to my attention”. Even if you do not agree with the statement made, the other person will be assured that you have heard him and understood the problem.
Gather More Information
As a general rule, it isn’t right that you acknowledge criticism and apologize for your faults. Rather, you should inquire and explore the main cause behind it. Talk to the concerned person and ask him what made him come to this conclusion. Even if it may turn out painful for you, be prepared to listen to the problem. Though you may not be happy with the response, but you can at least think over improving the situation and try clearing the atmosphere.
Place Your Perspective
Regardless of what the criticism is, positive or negative, do not let the situation subside simply by accepting your fault and rectifying it right away. Just like you had given the other person a chance to talk out his thoughts, give yourself the same opportunity to place your views as well. Include your side of the story also stating how you feel about the entire scenario and admit that you will take all necessary steps to rectify the situation, even if you aren’t convinced with the explanations.
Find Ways to Confess
It might have been just a day when you weren’t feeling good, or had a fight back home with your wife. And hence, you splurged out your frustration on your colleague, not realizing that you were being extremely short-tempered. Though it was a very small point, but finding a way to agree to your criticism and admiting your mistake can anytime improve conditions and get things back on track. Talk to the concerned colleague and tell him that it had nothing to do with him and that you weren’t aware that it would result in such a rude behavior. Be it a small argument or a large disagreement, finding a common ground can work wonders for your professional life, if not any other.
Your discussion may not always result in a happy ending. There are people who just don’t seem to accept their mistake. In such a situation, if you try emphasizing on your viewpoint, struggling to prove yourself right, you will never come to any conclusion. Therefore, call the other person and ensure him that you wouldn’t display such a behavior again in the future. Again, if it was your mistake, comfort your colleague about being careful from next time. After all, it’s all about compromises from both sides that will be of benefit to everyone concerned. However, in case it was your boss’s criticism that has been hurting you all the while, trying to come to a compromise with him would not be feasible; hence, judge the situation accordingly and follow what’s most logical.
Though criticism can be disappointing, but it is one of the best keys for growing rapidly and performing better. Accept it the way it comes and wait to see how fruitful it turns out to be.