Look Brilliant When Faced with Constructive Criticism

As you climb the ladder of career success, mistakes and setbacks are inevitable, and despite your best efforts, feedback from supervisors and peers may not always be glowing.

It’s no secret that most people don’t like having their flaws pointed out to them, but the fact is, other people often see our shortcomings more clearly than we do. Being able to take constructive criticism is an important tool for career growth, and what you decide to do with it can change perceptions and set you apart from peers.

Boise Paper offers the following tips to help you look brilliant when faced with constructive feedback, and how to use it to propel your career further in 2017.

Watch Your Response – It’s easy to become defensive when being told something negative, but remember to keep the situation in context. The criticism is work-related, not personal. Maintain a positive attitude and facial expression, and listen fully before reacting. Respond respectfully, whether you agree with the criticism or not.

Ask for Specifics – Vague criticism may be easier to swallow, but it won’t help you improve your work or resolve the situation. In order to use criticism as an opportunity to learn and improve, it’s important ask questions to get to the root of the actual issues being raised. Summarize or restate the feedback for the other person to be sure there are no misunderstandings. Take notes on paper so that you can review the feedback more objectively once the initial sting has passed.

Suggest Solutions – This is your opportunity to set yourself apart from peers and look brilliant to your supervisors. Offering solutions to specific feedback shows proactive thinking and a willingness to improve. Even if you don’t necessarily agree with the feedback, suggest a solution and follow through with it to determine if it does indeed improve your work and similar situations in the future. Sharing your progress demonstrates your commitment to excellence and respect for the person offering the feedback. In the long run, the actual issue is less likely to be remembered than your response to it.

Say Thank You – While it’s just two words, this may be the most difficult step of all. However, remember that giving criticism can be just as nerve-wracking as accepting it, and the person offering it cares enough to want you to improve. Expressing appreciation doesn’t have to mean you’re agreeing with the assessment, but it does show that you’re acknowledging the effort your colleague took to evaluate you and share his or her thoughts. If your colleague has gone above and beyond to help you improve, a typed or handwritten note is warranted. Be sure to use a high-quality paper such as Boise POLARIS® Premium Multipurpose Paper , for an extra sense of significance and appreciation.

Learn, Grow and Share with Others – After some time for the solution to take effect, identify three ways that the feedback has helped you grow. It's hard to stay hostile for long when you can visibly see how this one small experience has improved your work. A valuable part of office life is helping others, and in many cases, your experience is likely applicable to your fellow officemates. Consider sharing what you’ve learned in a printed presentation or high-quality, colorful flyer that they can keep as reference.

By following these steps, you can take what might initially be thought of as a set-back, and instead, transform it into a launching pad to further your career, show your brilliance and stand out among your colleagues.