10. 02. 2022

How to bounce back

I want to talk about criticism at work, how to take it, learn from it and move on.

It is one of those factors, that un-FORTUNATELY (yes- you read it right) is ever present in our professional lives, and I for one am happy about that.

However good we are at our jobs, however efficient and hard-working, there’s always room for improvement.… But how could we improve if we don’t think we need to?

Just like Winston Churchill once said:

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things”

Even though we all know that constructive criticism is more useful than a praise, I’m sure some of you would agree that being on the receiving end is not always easy.

To help, I’ve put together a few tips:

First, be open minded. Show your supervisor that you are open to receiving the feedback, why? Managers as well as clients also dislike giving criticism, so by saying that you are open to it, you prove your mental maturity and help to build a better rapport with them for future.

Second, listen. Take it all in. Do not feel like you have to respond immediately. You want to show that you have listened, are not defensive and are accountable. Make sure to thank them for the feedback and let them know you appreciate it.

Afterwards we might feel bad, embarrassed or even angry. That’s absolutely fine – we’re only human. Call your partner, friend or a close colleague and acknowledge your feelings. Then once you settle down you will start to see the situation in a new light.

Third, learn. Try and find a lesson in the criticism given. Now that you had time to digest what’s been said, see what you can take from it for future improvements. 8 out of 10 times, negative feedback is given in order to help you develop and grow.

Fourth, move on. Nothing more, nothing less. Once you’ve been given the feedback, you acknowledged your learning or reflected on the mistake – move on.

The reason for giving you this feedback in the first place was not to put you down and make you feel incompetent – it is to ensure, that you improve and grow!