Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

How to take criticism at work


Criticism at work can be a huge confidence knock and if you’re not careful can affect your work and working relationships with colleagues.

But criticism doesn’t have to be a negative thing, as we've seen on this year's Apprentice. Use the comments to reinvent yourself, show your boss that you’re adaptable and that you can be a better employee.

Apprentice contestants Joanna Riley (too bossy), Stella English (too corporate) and Stuart Baggs (too gobby) have all faced the wrath of Sir Alan. But instead of sulking, they’ve listened to his comments, adapted and are all still around to be in his final five.

Corinne Mills is the Managing Director of personalcareermanagement.com, a leading career coaching company. She is a specialist in helping people reinvent and kickstart their careers and author of the bestselling book You’re Hired! How To Write A Brilliant CV. Here's her five top tips on how to take criticism at work and reinvent yourself:

Corinne Mills specialises in helping people kickstart their careers

1) Say thank you

Even if you don’t agree with the negative feedback you’re getting, you need to be gracious, say, “thank you, that’s very helpful” and ask, “what advice can you give me to help me make the changes you are looking for?” This will show that you are listening, are prepared to take criticism on board and that you’re asking for advice.

2) Revamp your image

Whether it’s a new haircut, hair colour or some other physical change. It should be a visual sign that you are going to change. What you’re saying to colleagues is that previously it was the old you, now they are dealing with the new you.

3) Re-building relationships

You need to grab anyone who might have been part of the negative feedback and ask them to go for a coffee with you as an initial step in rebuilding your relationship with them.

4) Check out your options

This is important because whilst making every attempt you can to do what has been asked of you, you may not agree with the negative feedback you’ve received and you may not want to make the suggested changes or feel you are able to. You have always got more job options than staying where you are and you need to check those out so that you are clearer about your potential position.

5) Review

Make sure that you meet up with whoever has given you the feedback in the first place, after a definite length of time. Ask to have a chat in a month or three months because you need to let them know you’ve done what they’ve asked and turned your performance around. Unless you put in some sort of marker, your efforts might not get noticed.



Making an impression


Are women better business leaders?


Make money from blogging