The ability to handle criticism and grow from it – especially in the workplace – is a very important aspect of success. Criticism is defined as the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes. It is common to meet people who attach a blanket negative connotation to the word “criticism” because it brings to mind something destructive, but experts have said criticism comes in two flavours: constructive and destructive.
While I agree that destructive criticism could hurt one’s self-esteem, cause psychological damage and render one less effective, I believe that if handled very well, any form of criticism can be turned into something positive.
Below are 5 ways you can improve your productivity with criticism:
1. KNOW YOU ARE NOT PERFECT
If you begin each task thinking you are so good and nothing can ever go wrong, you’re fooling yourself. You are human; you can and will make mistakes sometimes. The important thing is to learn from them. Stop viewing every criticism as negative/destructive; you might have genuinely made a mistake.
2. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
Since you are not the overall boss or the owner, someone above you will criticize your work someday. Yes, it hurts! But always endeavour to remember that the criticism isn’t directed at you as a person. You are doing your job and criticism generally comes with the territory.
3. SWALLOW YOUR PRIDE
When you are criticized by your boss or even your co-worker, don’t just zone out or shut down; listen, digest, and if possible, go over it again and again. If you ignore critical comments, you’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes. Take notes and try to figure out ways you can fix the problem. This might mean letting go of your ego and asking for help, if necessary.
4. DO NOT HOLD A GRUDGE
If you stay angry or upset every time you are criticized, your work would be negatively affected. Whenever you are criticized at work, focus on doing the best job possible on the next task. Know that people who have difficulty accepting criticism are less likely to succeed in whatever profession they are in.
5. SEEK A SECOND OPINION
When you truly believe you have put in your best, but still get criticized, discuss with someone you trust to give you an objective view, if the opportunity arises. By doing this, you will find out if the criticism is reasonable or someone is just using his status to assert his/her authority over you. Even if the case turns out to be the latter, just keep putting in your best and don’t try to get even – especially if the person is your employer. However, if you work in an organized sector and your boss is also an employee, there are official ways you can explore – if you feel you’re being picked on unfairly. One of them is to keep a documentation of encounters and copies of any critical e-mails or letters; so that when you lay a formal complaint, you will have hard evidence to back your complaints up.
About the author
: Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian, who believes in God and humanity. He is a writer, blogger, and an aspiring Television Director; and an optimist to the core. He blogs at www.chrisbamidele.wordpress.com and tweets @Chrisbamidele.
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This article was first published on 14th April 2015
Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian, who believes in God and humanity. He is a writer, blogger, and an aspiring Television Director; and an optimist to the core. He blogs at www.chrisbamidele.wordpress.com and tweets @Chrisbamidele.
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