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7 Steps to Taking Harsh Criticism From Your Boss

Criticism is a good thing

It illustrates what you're doing right, what you're doing wrong, and what you can do to become better at your job.

No matter how good or how seasoned you are, there's always room to grow.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

7 Steps to Taking Harsh Criticism From Your Boss

7 Steps to Taking Harsh Criticism From Your Boss

https://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/7-steps-to-taking-harsh-criticism-from-your-boss.html

inc.com

2

Key Ideas

Dealing with criticism that cuts

  • Distance Yourself From the Situation to allow you to calm down. Do not react or take it personally. 
  • Try to Understand Your Boss's Intentions. Is he's upset with your performance or exceptionally stressed or prone to say things he doesn't fully mean?
  • Summarize the Criticism. Repeat back exactly what you think she's driving at. Try and word the criticism in a more positive light. "so you're saying I need to find a new work strategy so I can improve my performance?"
  • Explain Your Perspective. The more specific you can be here, the better. 

  • Engage in a Dialogue. Work together with your boss to hash out the unspoken details of the criticism.

  • Suggest an Action Plan and make sure to follow it.
  • Consider Giving Criticism of Your Own if the criticism is misdirected.  Tell your boss that his/her criticism was unwarranted or unhelpful, but suggest alternative strategies he/she can use in the future to make his/her criticism better.

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Stop Your First Reaction

At the first sign of criticism, before you do anything—stop. Try not to react at all.

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Remember the Benefits of Getting Feedback

Namely, to improve your skills, work product, and relationships, and to help you meet the expectations that your manager and others have of you.

Also, try to cut back any reaction you're having to the person who is delivering the feedback, even if it's hard to receive criticism from someone you don't fully respect.

Listen for Understanding

As the person shares feedback with you, listen closely. Allow the person to share their complete thoughts, without interruption. When they’re done, repeat back what you heard.

Avoid analyzing or questioning the person’s assessment; instead, just focus on understanding his or her comments and perspective.

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Talk About Priorities

Try connecting with your manager on a regular basis, clearing the work goals and priorities of the coming weeks or months.

Ensure that this line of communication is open so that there is clarity on both sides.

Regular Touchpoints

Just like setting priorities, there has to be a regular touchpoint system established, for checking in and getting queries solved.

Maintaining regularity of the meeting is imperative, though there are bound to be cancellations due to other priorities of your boss. It helps to take this into account and pushing for the meeting nonetheless.

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3. Be Specific With Your Feedback

The more specific your feedback, the more actionable it is for the one receiving it. Example: Asking for an article on communication is vague while asking for one on public speaking is speci...

4. Comment On Actionable Things

To help people improve talk about things they can do something about, rather than those out of their control. Critiquing the former makes your criticism constructive; critiquing the latter makes the person feel bad as they can’t do anything about it, even if they want to.

Understand the person’s situation and his/her objectives, then provide your critique based on that. And if you need to talk about something out of their control, balance it out by talking about things they can control.

5. Give Improvement Recommendations

Give recommendations on what the person can do to improve so they have a clear idea of what you have in mind and get a strong call-to-action.

With your recommendations, (a) be specific with your suggestions and (b) briefly explain the rationale behind the recommendation. Also, try to limit examples to one per point to make your case more impactful.

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