Occasionally at work in a science role you may receive criticism from colleagues or your Manager. Sometimes this criticism can be constructive and sometimes not. Here are some tips on how to deal with this:
1. Listen and keep it professional
Whether you agree with the criticism or not, don’t get judgemental or defensive; just listen to what they have to say. Usually the criticism will be coming from someone who genuinely wants to help you progress in your job, so bite your tongue and listen to what they have to say.
2. Don’t take it personally
This is one of the most common mistakes when dealing with criticism. Yes it hurts sometimes, but the criticism isn’t directed at you as a person. You’re at work and constructive criticism generally comes with the territory.
3. Is it really criticism?
Try to look at the situation objectively from the outside. Take a moment to consider whether the criticism was intended to be insulting or helpful. Use what you can in a positive and constructive way.
4. Don’t respond…yet
Sometimes they best course of action is to simply listen and then just take some time to digest what has just been said. By responding in the heat of the moment, you may say something you regret and potential cause damage to your career.
5. Don’t be afraid to challenge the criticism
By asking for clarification from your criticiser you can get a better understanding of which areas you really need to work on and will force your criticiser to really justify and explain their words.