Thursday, December 22, 2011




                        Ragini Gulati

Criticism or negative feedback is an inevitable part of our professional as well as personal life.  

All of us loathe being made aware of our shortcomings or told that we are doing something wrong.

Responding to criticism without careful consideration often leads to unnecessary suffering and frustration.

Since we have  to face criticism at various stages, learning how to handle it effectively is very essential. Here below are a few tips to handle criticism objectively at workplace:

Don’t let emotions take over. Although easier said than done, it is essential to keep one’s feelings under control while dealing with harsh criticism. The more emotional we get, more limited our thinking and questionable our reactions become. When you receive criticism try to listen carefully to what is said without getting emotional or responding defensively.

Make an attempt to focus on the facts rather than the feelings that are evoked on an evolution of your performance.

Instead of getting upset stay analytical to avoid missing out on critical points and repeating the same mistakes.

Most critics will take it positively and appreciate that at least their comments are being heard. It will shorten the discussion which otherwise could drag forever and take all possible directions.

Ignore false criticism

Prior to reacting or taking any step one must differentiate between positive and negative criticism. More than often people criticize others simply because they have nothing better to do with their time.

Such criticism is not only unjustified and baseless but also useless to the recipient. The best option to deal with negative criticism is to remain aloof and completely ignore.

By remaining silent and detached the efforts of the critic will go in vain, dissuading him or her from being vindictive in future.

On the other hand, positive criticism is the one in which individual explain their point of view and actually want to see an improvement. Consider the feedback objectively, taking it as an opportunity to improve and grow.

Get concrete details

Criticism is futile unless there is exchange of information on the changes that need to be brought about. Whenever you are criticized, make sure that you are aware of what exactly needs to be corrected. Ask the critic questions on how you could have done things differently and better. 

Try to get practical and concrete details about what went wrong so as to resolve the criticism amiably. In fact, if possible request the critic to put the recommendations in writing since verbal criticism is often full of holes and poorly thought out.

By opening channels, a potential conflict can be turned into a valuable relationship.


Listening to something does not help unless we are willing to accept and eventually act upon it. Take criticism as a challenge and a chance to change your way, adjust your communication and become stronger as a professional.

Allow yourself to learn from such responses by identifying your strong and weak points.

Unfortunately, majority of people have negative connotations about the word, “criticism” and choose to ignore it.

They fail to realize someone else could have better suggestions and that they cannot be always right.

However, by doing so they lose the opportunity to learn and grow in their professional lives. Moreover, one must remember that most criticism is based, at least in part, on some truth.

Let go

Althogh it may be difficult to shake off criticism one must realize that obsessing over it will not help. Criticism should not be allowed to lower your self-esteem or slow down the pace of work.

Rather than taking it to heart make amends, learn from the mistake and stride forward. Continue striving for your goals, with full dedication and persistence, to achieve to what you set out to do.

Most importantly, never let criticism decide what you want to do next, or give up something completely.

Don’t hold grudges

Since criticism points out our limitations it is not only makes us feel vulnerable but also defensive towards the critic. However, we should not forget that the supervisor or colleague is just doing their job and there is no personal enmity involved.

As a consequence, instead of sulking or blaming the critic accept the criticism with grace and excellence.

IN FACT, thank the person for the feedback and make him realize that you consider his view point valuable.

HOLDING grudges for criticism negatively impacts the relationship with the individual both professionally and personally.



Source: Jobs and Careers, The Tribune, December 21, 2011

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