How to Take Constructive Criticism without Hulking Out

a boss giving constructive criticism on some paper work

Sometimes work is frustrating, especially when you don’t know everything. That’s pretty normal for most of us. After all, there’s so much to learn, so much to do, and so many goals to reach. And sometimes, it can be hard to fully succeed at every single thing you do. That means you’re likely to make the dreaded…mistake.

With mistakes comes constructive criticism. Good managers and leaders will give it often, but there are occasions where that kind of criticism can feel like a personal attack. For some of us, we start feeling the rage bubble up in us and immediately become defensive (maybe we even begin turning green). That’s a normal feeling, none of us like making mistakes. Still, we have to take it and use it to make ourselves better.

Take Constructive Criticism without Becoming the Hulk

Have an open mind when being given constructive criticism. Having an open mind, being accepting of different ideas and ways to completed projects will help you learn more in your role. Constructive criticism is not a personal attack on you in any way, it is feedback on your work, and advice on how to help you get better.

Be relaxed and understanding. If you aren’t relaxed, and don’t understand that your manager or coworker is just trying to help, you can get defensive, angry, and emotional. If you let your emotions take control the criticism will not help you.

Thank them for the feedback. Taking the time to thank them for helping you will let them know you appreciate their constructive criticism. They know that you’ll be able to receive more in the future and the more feedback you receive, the better you can do your own job. This also lets them know that you can be confronted about a mistake in a constructive way, instead of requiring a disciplinary write up.

Ask questions to understand their criticism. If there is something you don’t fully understand, it’s okay to ask for help. Having a complete understanding of their feedback will help you improve and to succeed in your role.

The workforce is a place to grow and learn. Constructive criticism is a way to do both those things, so take the time to learn all you can from the feedback. It’s given to help you, and it’s okay to accept that help.