How to Deal with Criticism at Work

Posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 by The Office Zen MasterNo comments

In the workplace, it can be difficult to avoid criticism, and very few people make it through their working lives without being the target of constructive or even unconstructive criticism at some point. The truth is, everyone makes mistakes at work sometimes, and nobody enjoys being criticised. As a leading London recruitment agency, we know that criticism can be more valuable than you might think, so we’ll show you how to deal with criticism in the workplace. 

Take a moment

Whether you work in office support jobs or challenging EA jobs, you can stop yourself from becoming emotionally affected by criticism by removing yourself from the situation. If you’re feeling upset, ask to leave the room for a moment so you can compose yourself. Once you’ve calmed down, continue with the conversation. If it’s not possible to escape, think about something that makes you happy for a moment or two, such as friends, family members, or your plans for the weekend.

Don’t take it personally

It’s important to not become defensive when receiving feedback from an employer. Instead, listen to what they’re saying and try to consider it objectively, no matter how they deliver it. Avoid taking the feedback personally, as most feedback isn’t a personal criticism, but is intended to help you avoid mistakes and perform better in your role. If you really feel the criticism is personal in nature, you may wish to take further action.

Avoid angry responses

Before jumping in with an angry response, it may be best to wait and think through your answer, particularly if the exchange was heated. Digest what the person has said before responding, or you could end up saying something you regret. This might damage your relationship with your employer and hinder your career, especially if you want to move from your temp PA job to that top EA role at the company.

Vent carefully

If you need to vent after receiving criticism, then choose the right people to vent to, and the right place to do it. When you work in office support jobs or other office-based roles, it’s best to avoiding telling your co-workers about your issues or calling a loved one from the office kitchen. If you express your anger to the wrong people or are overheard, it could get back to your employers and your problems could get worse.

Take advantage of the feedback
It can be easier to accept negative commentary if you make use of the feedback. Ask questions that help you make sense of the criticism, so you know how to improve. Then use it as a positive to avoid receiving negative commentary in future. You can also tell your boss your preferred way to get feedback. For example, if you work in PA jobs and your boss gives you feedback in person, there’s no harm in explaining if you’d prefer the feedback via email so you can refer back to it to improve.

For more top tips on workplace issues, stay tuned to the Love Success PA recruitment agency blog. If you’re looking for your next temp PA or office support job, your dream PA role in London, or something else, get in touch with our team of recruitment experts today.


Love Success is a leading PA and secretarial recruitment agency in London.
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