how to handle criticism at work

how to handle criticism at work;

Even when you’ve done everything right, some days you just can’t win with your boss.


No one likes to be criticized and you might take it too personally. Did you ever stop to think that this could be your boss trying to help you improve?

When you welcome feedback and you are determined to learn from it, it can truly improve your working relationship.



So before you get defensive or have an embarrassing meltdown, consider these tips on how to handle criticism at work.


criticism will help you to improve

What if you never got any feedback from your boss? Do you think you would improve or not make the same mistake without any guidance from your superior? Criticism is your boss’ best tool to help you grow professionally. Your boss probably experienced similar critique during his or her own career, which is why he or she is now at the top. Criticism is for your own good.

don’t get defensive – EVER

Getting defensive comes naturally when somebody questions you why did something a certain way. Your body smells an attack coming and it’s getting ready for defensive mode. In a professional setting the worst thing you could do is being defensive. Because that will show weakness and how easy it is to get under your skin. If co-workers and managers can’t approach you with constructive criticism for fear of an emotional outburst, then you won’t improve, and that’s not good. Critique at work is purely professional. Let it be your motivation to try a little harder next time.

process the feedback FIRST and then respond

Sometimes critique comes at the most unexpected time, so you may feel that it completely caught you off guard. Don’t rush your response. Ask yourself: Was it fair? Is it useful? How can you improve? Then you can formulate a reply that isn’t based on emotion.

stay cool and collected

As if it was so easy, right? Losing your cool at work and allowing for your boss and co-workers to see you angry is “professional suicide“. It doesn’t matter how the feedback was delivered or whether it was fair. You must maintain your cool. If you can’t, then ask your boss to give you an opportunity to discuss it later that day or next day and go for a walk.

discuss the problem and ask questions

You don’t understand the criticism or you think it was unfair? Ask for a meeting to clarify! Have an outline on your key points and ask questions so you understand the criticism. Communication is key plus this will show your boss that you want to get better and take pride in what you do.

Photo by Rick Robillard

  • Rachelle

    great tips! you look stunning as always.


  • Melange-Boutique by Noe&Lolita

    Perfectly understand this mood…thanks for your tips…<3

    Melange-Boutique Blog by Noe&Lolita

  • Blaire Bingham

    First of all, you look amazing! Secondly, this is such great advice that I think everyone can relate to. Great post Bogi!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  • Floortje van Cooten
  • Kathy

    Criticism is always hard but these are great tips on how to deal with it. These tips can be used outside of work as well. Great post!


  • Marina

    Amazing post, work place polictics can make even the dream career seem like hell.
    All employees/ bosses should read this!
    Marina | MarinaSimone

  • Amber Shannon

    These are all great tips!! Sometimes it can be difficult to digest criticism, especially when the delivery is toned with great negativity… but it does help to keep calm, listen with comprehension, and spend time later to reflect. Great post!

    All the Cute
    Latest Post: Chambray & Silver with eShakti Dress Customization

  • Susie @SequinsandStrawberries

    These are great tips, I really need to remember them in the moment!


  • Heidi D.

    This is such valuable advice! I especially like the part about taking the time to think it over.

    Wishes & Reality

  • Stripes n Vibes

    Absolutely agree about the processing the feedback first, it’s like thinking before talking))
    Great post!


  • kelsey bang

    great tips! I am so bad at thinking/processing before I speak! I need to work on that!

  • Natasha Solae

    I should’ve read this post like 5 years ago. omg.

    xo, N

  • Nina

    What a great post. I agree with everything.