Being on the receiving end of criticism in the workplace can be very uncomfortable or, at worst, detrimental to your career. The difference between the two depends completely on your reaction to your co-worker or manager’s thoughts. Below are the key do’s and don’ts of dealing with criticism in the workplace that will help you come out on top.
Don’t: Take it Personally
Remember that it is your work that’s being criticised, not you. It is a great skill to be able to separate the personal and professional elements of the workplace.
Do: Listen Objectively
In any career, especially in the earlier stages, there are always going to be people with more experience than you. The key is to listen to their advice from an objective point of view, take on board their suggestions and even ask questions about how you can improve. This can be especially important for careers with a specific learning phase, like a teaching assistant hoping to apply for teaching jobs in the future. Whether it’s through an agency like EduStaff, or directly with a school, if your reference mentions your objective approach to criticism and that you’ve hoovered up the wisdom of experienced staff members, you’ll look like a quality candidate who is eager to learn.
Don’t: React Unprofessionally
News travels. Whether it happens to those in village school teaching jobs or the headquarters of banks in the city, people will find out about a poor or negative reaction to criticism. Even if the criticism is wholly untrue you need to back up your response with evidence, delivered rationally without flying off the handle.
Do: Stay Calm
The opposite to the above point might well be true. If you react well, take criticism on board and show a good attitude it will help to boost your reputation. Your reaction to criticism may be to automatically respond and defend yourself. Don’t. You might say something you regret which could have a long-lasting effect on your reputation. It can only work to your advantage if you seem to be understanding and really listening to what is being said.
Don’t: Hold a Grudge
Staying angry or upset about criticism is going to have a negative effect on you and your future work. If the person who delivered the criticism works closely with you, the tension will be easily noticeable. If you feel that you still have things to say, request a private meeting so you can discuss matters further and put the situation to bed.
Do: Evaluate What You’ve Heard
You don’t have to agree with everything you’ve heard, but you definitely need to take all points into consideration. Try to look at the points from an objective viewpoint and how you can solve the problem.
Don’t: Refuse to Believe It
It’s okay to not be perfect. People make mistakes, including the person who is giving you criticism. What’s important in this situation is that you learn from what is happening and avoid it happening again.
Do: Use it as a Positive
Ultimately, you can come out on top after receiving criticism. As stated, taking the positive from it and using it to your advantage will only cement your reputation as a good employee. If you think you’ve been ‘wronged’ it’s possible to prove people wrong through your own hard work and good attitude in the long term. Be the better person, rise above it all and you’ll undoubtedly come out on top.
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