How to deal with criticism


“I really struggle when my work is criticised. I take it personally and can feel stressed for days afterwards. I become really nervous and worry that my work will never be good enough. What can I do to stop myself feeling like this?”

It can be really difficult to accept criticism. You can end up feeling angry, frustrated and demotivated. Criticism can also really knock your confidence.

Dealing with your emotions after being given criticism can be difficult and so here are a few tips to help you deal with it constructively:

  1. Accept that no one is perfect. Placing unrealistic expectations on yourself can cause a lot of stress so ensure your expectations are reasonable.
  2. Replace the word ‘criticism’ with ‘feedback’. Feedback is a more positive word and can put you in a better frame of mind to deal with it. Ask yourself what you can learn from the feedback to help you move forward.
  3. When you are being given feedback, ensure you understand it properly and be open to what the other person is saying before you respond. Once you have this understanding, you can ask questions to clarify what the person giving you feedback is wanting from you and what changes you can make to improve your work. This gives the conversation a positive forward thinking focus.
  4. Don’t take it personally. Perhaps model yourself on someone you know who takes feedback well. How do they behave? How do they talk and act? Write down 10 qualities you admire about this person. Now identify what they do, that you currently do not do and think about what you need to believe in order to behave in the same way. Next time you receive feedback, use this new belief and try a different response.       Keep going until you start seeing the difference!

Throughout your career, there will always be someone who may criticise you. You are not alone. Even the most successful people are criticised. It is how you deal with it that is important. Keep in control and use any constructive criticism to enable you to become an even better employee.

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