How to Handle Constructive Criticism
If you don’t love getting constructive criticism, know that you’re not alone. While constructive criticism is necessary and pays off in the long run, it’s never fun to receive. If you struggle with how to handle constructive criticism, we’ve shared how we do it here at HSC!
When someone starts giving us constructive criticism, our first instinct is to defend our work or ourselves. But don’t! Instead, listen to what they have to say first. This is beneficial to you for two reasons: 1) You keep yourself from having a quick (potentially regrettable) defensive response. And 2) You actually absorb what they are telling you instead of trying to interrupt or talk over them.
Don’t be too proud to ask questions if you don’t understand what they’re saying. Whether you don’t get how what you did was wrong or you don’t see how their way is better, politely ask for clarification. If you don’t fully understand the issue, then you won’t be able to fix it for future reference and you’ll end up back here before you know it.
You may not always agree with the constructive criticism that comes your way in the work world, but you need to always accept it. That means you really listen to what they have to say and thank them for their help. That doesn’t mean that you have to implement every single piece of constructive criticism that you get. But, if it’s from your boss or supervisor, you probably do need to because it’s likely that they won’t be happy with your work until you do.
Don’t Take it Personally
It’s so hard not to only hear the “criticism” part and forget about the “constructive” part, but this is key to keeping yourself from getting defensive or feeling attacked. Your boss/co-worker is not giving you this feedback to hurt you, but to help you. It’s not a personal attack on you as a person or an employee, it’s advice to help you and your team have even more success in the future. So don’t take it personally and don’t let it get you down, everyone gets constructive criticism at some point!