How to handle receiving constructive criticism

Work meeting

Handling feedback, and especially criticism, is often difficult. Besides, it is often quite hard to make sense of people’s perception or what they are asking you to fix. Even with constructive criticism, there is always a balance between being grateful about feedback while figuring out if you can do something about it. Here are some ideas that you should take into account when receiving constructive criticism.

Consider The Source

Every time you receive criticism from someone, you must take into account who is criticizing. Does that person know about the topic? What is his or her experience with a similar problem? Why should you listen to this person? Is the person providing objective or emotional criticism? Not all criticism has value. Depending on the source, you should take it into account. Listen carefully, consider the source, and value if you should act on that piece of criticism.

Learn From Mistakes

The most awkward situations are when the criticism comes from a mistake you made. In that case, own your mistake and acknowledge it. This allows you to learn from it. Mistakes shouldn’t be taken personally because it is part of life, so make the best of it and take steps to prevent it in the future.

Ask Questions

Sometimes we don’t completely understand what the other person is criticizing. In these cases, ask what you don’t understand about their criticism. You’ll have a clearer view about the problem and the critic will appreciate you asking for more information. As you ask and listen, the critic will know that you want to take action, so he or she will be more engaged with your work afterwards.

Give Thanks

Be grateful and thank the person who is giving you criticism. That person, genuine or not, is taking valuable time to tell you what could be improved or changed. This will help you keep a positive attitude for the conversation, maintaining a relationship that could be useful in the future.

Keep It Civil

The secret of reacting to constructive criticism is being able to be candid about the information given and be grateful for it. It is always better to receive some criticism rather than just having someone’s approval every time. You are doing things differently, maybe even better than usual. When someone stands out, it will create conversations to evaluate the work. No matter what you do with the criticism, understand that this is a vital part of your development.

To Do

  • Consider the source. Not all criticism is valuable.
  • Embrace your mistakes.
  • Ask questions to better understand the criticism. This will help you evaluate if the criticism is valuable.
  • Be grateful.

Not To Do

  • Dismiss criticism.
  • Cover up your mistakes with excuses.
  • If you don’t understand the criticism, disregard it altogether.
  • Readily believe that you don’t need help from others.

Learn How to Receive Criticism Like a Pro