Dealing with critics at work

Source: McLeod & more

When you start your first work email with ‘Goof morning…’ you know it’s going to be one of those days. But it takes a conscious effort to have the right attitude. You may find yourself working at an establishment where some colleagues try to put you down, try to set you up to fail or criticize your work. You have a choice to let them defeat you or your can decide not to let them invade your positive mindset. But how do you do that?

I’ll tell you one thing – it’s not easy. You could try to ignore them. But that’s difficult if you have to work closely with them. While I’m a believer of choosing my battles, I also encourage people to be prepared with appropriate responses to criticism. You see, keeping quiet is not a solution because it welcomes further criticism. Aggressive retort could also have bigger consequences that may result in intervention by your human resources department. You want to exhibit the right attitude not the fight attitude. There are responses that are well seasoned and would let the critics reevaluate their tactics.

You want to exhibit the right attitude not the fight attitude.

Your responses should never be personal or emotional. Keep it professional and relevant to the job. If the criticism you receive is not based on your job but your character, take a step back to reflect. Get the opinion of a trusted colleague or have a one-to-one with your line manager. If you need an attitude change then it’s better you know early enough. If your critics have overstepped their boundaries then by all means get your line manager involved and he/she may decide to take it up with the critcs’ line managers.

Another good approach is to let your work speak for itself. I like to document my activities so that it serves as an easy reference point. You never know when that work will come to your defence and vindicate you. Remember that no man is an island. Always seek opinions of others. Surround yourself with positive people both inside and outside your workplace. Try to emulate the qualities of positive people you see day-to-day. They attract good things. You can be like them too. Carrying old baggage or a chip on your shoulder is not a good way to start a new day that comes with opportunities.

I mentioned earlier that not letting people invade your positive mindset isn’t easy (if only we had a delete button to handle them, right? Ok maybe just a backspace button then). But if we make that choice to have the right attitude, a positive one, then that’s half the button…I mean battle won. I personally ask God to guide my steps and fight my battles for me. With a habit of meditation and prayer you would gradually get the divine direction you need to face life’s critics and challenges.

It won’t all happen overnight. It takes time but the first step takes seconds – make that choice. And so what if the first email you start the following day with goes ‘God morning…’ – at least this time you’re off on the right track 😉