CAREER FILES: Responding to workplace criticism like an absolute boss

Sarah White is a Senior Marketing Recruitment Consultant who has spent the last three years placing women in their dream jobs, sifting through hundreds of CVs and has the inside scoop on exactly what it takes to carve a successful path.

What is the best way to respond to workplace criticism?

Firstly, know that most people get criticism in the workplace. Criticism is good, it means you're learning but make sure you’re extracting clear takeaways so for example “thank you so much for that feedback. Can you please give me advice on a way I can implement that behaviour or change how I do that moving forward?” You need to work out what the action items are.

Bri wears the shift dress with pockets in midnight black.

What should you do if you have a colleague that you clash with?

I'm a big fan of worry about the things that you can control and don't worry about those that you can’t. Work out what areas are frustrating you or impacting your work and don't let it impact on you too personally. Ultimately there are a lot of things you can't change in the workplace. In any role or workplace, there will always be a colleague you clash with, someone that you don’t like. People leave organisations because they don’t like their line manager. But in any situation, there’s always going to be people who are tricky or difficult to deal with.


So assess your situation, determine if it needs to be escalated. If you do need support, often chatting to a mentor and saying, ‘Hey, you know, I'm really struggling to work with someone. Do you have any tips on how to handle dealing with X, Y, and Z?’ Ultimately, you can have a conversation directly with the person you clash with and say, ‘I'm really struggling with…’ whatever the specific is. You can say ‘It would really help me if you could do X, Y, Z instead of A,B,C’. Also acknowledging everyone has different working styles, so it’s partly trial and error, working out different approaches that will suit each individual. Openly communicating around different work styles and actually ask the question, ‘does this work style work for you or would you rather do the meetings in the morning?’ Structuring it so that both parties can work successfully.