How to Make Criticism Become Useful

Useful Critics

Nobody likes listening to critical words about themselves, but it is needed for people to improve themselves and become better. If you do not know how to behave while being criticized, try using these tips.

Do not Defend Yourself

First, try to understand your emotions. Think why it is unpleasant for you to heart critical words. Are you ashamed or confused? Are you upset because of your trying was not estimated as you expected? Defensive reaction is natural, but in the situation like that it is going to rather hurt you, than to be useful. So, try to avoid your feelings from dominating you.

No matter how strong is your wish to express irritation, try to just listen to your collocutor and give yourself some time to think over the answer.

Note What You’ve Heard

Once you calm down, go back to your notes. This will help you understand criticism better and find out if you have additional questions.

Think if the Criticism is Fair

Sometimes your supervisor (boss, team leader) really wants to help you improve your work, but there are cases when their criticism is not based on reasonable arguments. Try to analyze your case objectively.

If your chief does not only quarrel you, but explains what can be done in order for you to work better, you should probably listen to their words. But if you are being criticized unfairly, and the opponent appeals to factors that are out of your control, do not let them fear you or break your will.

Ask Questions

Concentrate on facts, not on your feelings. If your supervisor tells that you should improve your knowledge about the subject, ask them what exactly they mean. Ask for examples, too.

For instance, ask: “What exactly do I need to do another way in order to improve my thesis?” This is how you will know for sure, and won’t waste your time and energy in vain.

Ask for Help

If there is something that does not let you work, tell about that. Maybe, you need additional consultation, or there are some factors your supervisor can’t know about: private problems or part-time job taking your time. Discuss these obstacles and try to decide how it is possible to overcome them.

Create the Action Plan

Criticism Plan

When you realized what  is to be improved, think about steps needed to make that real. How can you make sure you won’t repeat the same mistake? How will you look after the new skill development? Create a detailed plan with deadlines in order to remember it all and to track your progress.

Notify Your Supervisor About the Progress Later

Lots of students and workers are not sure if this is to be done. Do not be afraid. Ask the chief about the meeting in a month or two, so you could discuss your progress and ask about additional remarks. 

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