Criticism is never easy to take. But sometimes, it’s an unavoidable part of our lives, especially when we’re in the workforce. No one is perfect, and we all make mistakes. When you receive criticism, it can be tough to stay positive and keep your head up. It’s natural to feel defensive and want to lash out at the person who criticised you. But that’s not going to help anything. In this blog post, we’ll discuss tips for staying resilient in the face of criticism and allow you to bounce back from criticism after a tough day at work.
We receive criticism in all aspects of our lives. While some criticism is nicely packaged and delivered as softly as possible, it’s not always the case. It catches us off guard and prompts a defensive response. And this is especially true when we’re in the workforce. We want to be perfect employees, but we’re human and make mistakes.
Harvard Business Review conducted an online survey asking people about the hardest feedback they had ever received. Some of it was particularly harsh. One respondent said they had received this comment:
“Think about leaving — I need warriors, not wimps.”
Of course, the person delivering this harsh comment probably needs some training of their own. There is criticism, and then there’s bullying, which this verges upon. Criticism should be constructive feedback. Some people, however, are not adept at articulating themselves, perhaps due to their own insecurities. It can be difficult to hear, but you need to give them the benefit of the doubt and try to understand where they’re coming from.
So, how should you react in the face of harsh criticism and not let it get to you so you can bounce back from it? Resilience is key. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. To have resilience is to be able to adapt in the face of change and keep going even when things get tough.
Here are our top tips for developing workplace resilience:
- Take a step back. Before responding to the criticism, take a deep breath and count to ten. This will help you to collect yourself and not say something you might regret later.
- Acknowledge your feelings: it’s okay to feel hurt, upset, or angry when you’re criticised. Give yourself time to process those emotions before responding.
- Ask yourself if the criticism is warranted? Is there any truth to what the person is saying? If so, then try to take it on board and use it as a learning opportunity.
- Try to understand where they’re coming from. It’s important to remember that the person delivering the criticism is coming from their own perspective. There may be some underlying reasons for why they’re criticising you. What might they be trying to achieve with their criticism? What might be driving their behaviour?
- Don’t take it personally. The criticism is not about you as a person; it’s about your work. It’s important to separate the two. Don’t dwell on the criticism and let it get to you. It’s important to recover quickly so you can continue being productive at work.
- Focus on the positive. After receiving criticism, it’s easy to dwell on the negative and forget all the good things you’ve done. But it’s essential to focus on the positive and not let the criticism define you.
- Engage with the person who delivered the criticism. If you’re able to have a constructive discussion with the person who criticised you, then take advantage of that opportunity. It’s a chance to clear the air and perhaps even learn something from them.
- Talk to someone about it – a friend, family member or therapist. It can be helpful to talk to someone about what happened. They can offer you support and help you to process your emotions.
- Think about the bigger picture – remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. In the face of criticism, it’s easy to lose sight of our goals and what we’re trying to achieve. But if we can remember our bigger picture, it will help us to keep going.
No one likes to be criticised, but it’s a fact of life. The important thing is how you deal with it. By being resilient and learning how to bounce back from ciriticism, you can continue to be successful at work. And remember, the person criticising you is coming from their own perspective. So try to understand where they’re coming from and don’t take it personally. Use the criticism as a learning opportunity and focus on the positive. With these tips, you’ll be able to develop workplace resilience and bounce back from any criticism you receive.
Charles works with executives and businesses to help develop resilience in the workplace. His skills and expertise have helped many people develop their resilience to enhance their careers and businesses.