Constructive criticism is often met with a destructive rebuttal. No one wants to be criticized, yet getting feedback and responding to criticism is a soft skill many people need. Millennials in the workplace are known for craving feedback. We want to do well, and we want to improve. Unfortunately, we also hate to be told what we're doing wrong and often get defensive when criticized.
Instead of getting defensive, walk through this checklist to handle and learn from criticism:
Count To Three
Stop right there. Count to three before responding at all. By taking a breath, you give yourself a chance to stop an instant, defensive attack when getting feedback. Actively remind yourself that this feedback is not an attack but seasoned advice.
Step In Their Shoes
If your boss is giving you criticism, you should take notes. Your boss took a lot of criticism, learned from it, and advanced to management. Criticism may be the difference between having a "dead-end" job and getting promoted.
Asking for examples of where you need improvement and for details on exactly what you can do to improve will show an interest in the feedback and a willingness to learn.
Try Something New
Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Listen to the feedback, apply the advice, and keep learning to improve.
Say "Thank You"
It's not always easy pointing out someone's faults. Thank them for trying to help and inform you on areas you can improve. This will open up communication and encourage more feedback.