4 Tips for Handling Criticism at Work

We’ve all been on the receiving end of criticism, whether it was constructive or not. Receiving criticism at work or in regards to your work performance can be a tough pill to swallow, especially if you get defensive. You can’t avoid criticism, but you can control how you handle receiving that criticism. The CGS Team is sharing 4 tips for handling criticism at work.

#1: Listen, before anything.

It’s easy to get defensive, assume the worst and take criticism negatively, but don’t! Before you get your emotions involved, listen to what is being said. Take the time to hear the person out.

Ask questions if you need to, but ensure that you are understanding the message. More often than not, criticism at work is coming from a good place. Usually, the person sharing the feedback is trying to help you. Be open to criticism and feedback, especially if there’s no reason to believe it’s coming from a negative place.

#2: Don’t take it personally.

Easier said than done, obviously. Regardless, it’s important to understand that any criticism given to you at work is in regards to your work and/or your work performance. This criticism has nothing to do with you as a person, so don’t let it affect you personally. If you get defensive, make excuses or take it to heart, you could miss the opportunity to grow and apply the feedback.

#3: Good or bad, feedback is a great thing.

Imagine if you worked at a company for years and never received any type of feedback about your work and your performance? You wouldn’t like it!

Whether the feedback you receive is good or bad, it’s a good thing to be receiving it. Most people actually want feedback on how they are performing at work. Positive feedback is preferred over negative, but any feedback is a gift. Feedback gives you the opportunity to learn, grow, improve and become a better employee! Be thankful for the feedback and express that thanks to whoever shared their opinion.

#4: Unfair criticism is unacceptable.

When receiving criticism, if any of the instances below apply to the delivery of that criticism, it is unacceptable:

  • Overly negative
  • Personal attacks
  • Unfair criticism for something that is not your fault or outside if your control
  • Delivered in an unpleasant way

Unfair and overly negative feedback shown above is often a tactic used by bad managers and workplace bullies to demean and control others. If you make that type of criticism delivery acceptable, it’s likely to continue. Don’t be afraid to reach out to HR or a manager you trust.

Related: 5 Ways to Ruin Your Work Reputation.


It’s not easy to be criticized for your performance, but handling criticism at work can be a very good thing! Take criticism constructively and use the feedback to improve. If someone asks you for feedback in return, always remember your approach. Stress that you are coming from a positive and helpful place. Have you been on the receiving end of positive or negative feedback at work? If so, how did you respond and handle the criticism? Share any tips you have with this topic by leaving a comment below!

-The CGS Team



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

two × one =

Related Posts