Somebody told something’s wrong about you or your work and you were left off guarded with the comment. It’s a difficult, and sometimes a wounding situation. If you’re not sure how to respond, here’s a Resume4Dummies’ review on how to deal with criticism:
1. Take it
The easiest and most hassle-free way to deal with criticism is to, well, face it. Don’t deny, resist, or even shoot the messenger. You won’t regret anything if you withhold your judgments until your head cools.
Man up and objectively look at the situation. Evaluate the intentions of the person giving the criticism, his authority in the subject, and if accepting the feedback will be helpful to you. Look at it on every angle before you react.
2. Listen, but selectively
Somebody says, “I hope you don’t take this personally, but your presentation is awful.”Should you accept it or discard it?
Well, it depends on who the messenger is and what are his intentions. Does the comment come from a friend? From an expert? Or is it from some random person who resents, or is jealous with you? Not all feedback are equal, and do remember that some people are not worth listening to. Just one rule: if the criticism is potentially toxic, then you have to avoid absorbing it. Mute your mind and ignore the person and the comment altogether.
If the comment seems to be genuine and does not attack you personally, it might be a good idea to acknowledge the person who said it. For example, if a buddy told you’re wrong in a meeting, then simply say “I’m sorry/ pardon my lapses, maybe I’ll look into that.”
Sometimes, the best way to defend yourself from a criticism is to be more vulnerable and admit that you might be wrong.
4. Ask how it can be improved
After acknowledging the feedback, there are certain cases where you could ask for some suggestions to improve things. That is, if you’re pretty comfortable with asking the person. If you aren’t, it’s fine not to ask.
But what if people throw unsolicited suggestions after somebody has already criticized you? We know, it’s crazy, but it’s human nature. That’s the time when you should go back to step two and use your selective listening skills again. Don’t buy every suggestion they will throw in.
5. Let it settle
Take time to think of it. Maybe after you go home and got some rest, you’ll have a perfect sense of what to do to with the criticism.
When you’re criticized, always remember that people forget after a day or two though it seems to be a gigantic blunder to you. So the best way to handle them is to forget about the embarrassment, explore your mistake, and learn from it.