How to deal with criticism at work in a positive way


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Facing criticism is part of the routine whether at work or in personal life. In addition, it is also common for everyone to self-criticize, especially in the face of an act that we consider to have committed the wrong way. However, not everyone is prepared to listen to criticism or self-criticize and absorb it in a positive way. Sometimes, the lack of ability to deal with the situation causes the problem to take on greater proportions than it should and significantly affects the critic’s self-esteem and also the self – confidence. 

But if you don’t learn to deal with this kind of feedback from the starting itself, then it can negatively affect your careers. So, how to deal with criticism in a positive way? How to deal with criticism intelligently in the professional environment, without being on the defensive? A reaction to which few employees are trained and which requires a lot of practice to be mastered.

So, check out some tips to learn how to deal with criticism at work without freaking out

Tips to manage criticism in workplace

  • Try to filter and analyze the frequency of criticism – The first point is to know how to separate positive from destructive criticisms and analyze where they come from. If the criticism comes from a person who is important in your life, from a superior at work or from someone who is balanced and of character, it is a sign that something can really be wrong and that it is necessary to change. Those criticisms that are made only with the intention of causing harm and affecting the emotional side of the person that is, bordering on offenses must be stopped and disregarded. In addition, it is important to see how often they occur. If they are recurring, it is another sign that you need to take action.
  • Listen first and the react – Do not try to justify or seek excuses when receiving a criticism. Before saying anything, listen carefully to the other person and his words without interrupting. This is because when people live with a lot of criticism they tend to always be prepared to reply or defend themselves from the possibility of “attack. Furthermore, if you are not listening to the person, you will not be able to understand what type of criticism he is doing and in return you often speak aggressively without realizing.
  • Don’t take everything personally – If your boss says the job took too long or did not go as expected, then your boss or client is criticizing your work and not you as a person. Therefore, never receive negative feedback as a personal criticism. You need to learn to respect the other’s point of view, even if you don’t agree. 

Otherwise, if you start to disagree before he even finishes talking; it will show that you are unable to control your feelings. If you do not agree with what was said, ask for details and / or pursue another opinion.

  • Analyze the truth of what has been said – Once the criticisms and the reasons that led the other to give negative feedback are over, you should seek the truth of the situation. Because many people just like to criticize in order to offend, upset or get over it.  As it is very common in the work environment to find people who feel good criticizing others. And this is called insecurity. So, when you are the target of criticism, check whether it is true or just a part of teasing.
  • Take time and talk about the problem – First, try to understand about the problems from angles, as it is important to find out if the other person is really guilty or not. The best way to do this is to take time and discuss the problem. And, it will be easier if the critic is your boss or colleague, because communication is fundamental in any interpersonal relationship. Then, set up a meeting and ask questions to understand the reasons for the criticism received and be ready to listen without feeling guilty. Never play the victim card.
  • List the situations that provoke criticism – By making a list of the situations that cause you criticism, you will be able to have more control and know where to act and how. If the criticisms are because of the behavior, it is possible to analyze what are the reasons and what are the points that can be worked on single-handedly.
  • Do a self-analysis and try to improve – After receiving a criticism and understanding your reasons, it’s time to do a self-analysis. If in fact you made a mistake and could have done better, have the humility to accept and commit yourself not to repeat it again. If necessary, justify yourself. Don’t forget to thank the other person for their constructive feedback. If necessary, ask your boss or coworkers for help to improve your negative points. This will demonstrate that you are a mature professional and have a chance to grow in your career.


Criticism at work is something you must learn to handle, since they will never stop. That is why to promote your peace of mind; it is preferable that you see them as a ladder to improve and not as a ramp to fall lower and lower.


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