How to handle constructive criticism at work

How to deal with Constructive Criticism effectively

Mistakes happen every day, it is human nature. But, receiving constructive criticism from your manager, boss or work colleagues is not easy. Most people are not naturally good at dealing with bad feedback and it is completely normal to act defensive when being insulted. People might become disheartened or discouraged after it. Criticism can come from all types of sources at work, from the boss to peers, it is important to note that constructive feedback comes from all corners and that it can come from flawed sources too. Criticism is part of life and if you take it on board it can be good for your career development. Here’s how to handle it like a champ instead of letting it affect your esteem or work.

Remain calm!

Take a few minutes before you react. If you do this it will stop you from reacting with emotion and even perhaps overreacting. Listen to the criticism that you are being given and don’t try to prove the person wrong. Allow the person giving the criticism to get all their thoughts across without any interruptions. Focus on their perspective and realise that they might have been nervous and uncomfortable about the discussion and situation too.

Ask questions.

Assess the information and assure the criticism is accurate. If you don’t understand or would like further explanations to any of the information you are receiving, ask questions so that you fully understand what they feel you did wrong or could improve on etc.

Ask for their advice.

If you respect the person and really want to improve you will want their opinion on how they think you should resolve the issue or any tips they have.


Don’t take constructive criticism personally or negatively. Instead, use it as an opportunity to better yourself, improve your skills, your work relationships and the standard at which people expect off you.


Being grateful might seem like a hard thing to do after getting an earful but recognising that there are good intentions behind criticism is mature. Be graceful and say thank you. Respect is a two-way street and expressing gratitude is admirable.

Don’t stress over it.

Criticism isn’t necessarily an insult. Learn from your experiences, put criticism into practice and better yourself.

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