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Best Ways To Handle Criticism At Work

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work criticism

Everyone should be prepared to receive negative feedback occasionally as it is impossible that you will remain flawless all the time. It is normal to feel de-motivated when you are criticized at a workplace, but it is an important “life-skill” to accept criticism constructively. Few people have the courage to take criticism in a positive way. In most workplaces, people are not trained to give or receive negative feedback and this leads to misunderstandings.

Here are some useful ways to handle criticism at work.

Feedback is necessary

Any feedback, positive or negative is important. The positive ones highlight your strengths and the negative ones guide you to do better in the future.

Listen carefully

When you are being criticized, try to listen carefully and ask questions to understand the feedback properly. If criticism comes from your boss, do not be defensive. Try to understand the real intention of the criticism and try to improve accordingly.

Take it professionally and not personally

Everyone makes mistakes at work. It is quite common to forget or miss out on something. So, do not take criticism to heart and remember that your manager is criticizing your work, not you as a person. It can hurt you but taking criticism impersonally can help you improve your performance at the workplace.

Do not be too tough on yourself

It is natural to feel sad after receiving negative feedback at work. However, you do not need to be harsh on yourself for minor issues. Remember that no one is perfect, and there are many things to learn each day. Making a mistake is not a crime, but repeating it over and over is. So, try to accept it and move on.

Do not play defensive

When you are being criticized, do not be defensive. It is best to listen to everything and control your emotions. Do not try to find excuses. Finding excuses for mistakes lead nowhere. Playing defensive is not very healthy for your professional growth.

Do not respond in the heat of the moment

It is okay not to accept each and every word being said. However, do not put your perspective into words immediately. If you say anything wrong in the heat of the moment, you may regret it later and may harm your career prospects. If you do not agree, wait for the right time to respond.

Be formal and say thank you

When you receive feedback from your manager or senior, don’t forget to say thank you. The gesture will show that you respect them and expresses how you react to criticism.

Ignore False Criticism

You can be a victim of false criticism, which can hurt you much more. There are two ways to handle false criticism. You can remain silent and ignore it completely. If it is a grave matter and may impact your career growth, you need to fight against it. However, dignified silence is always a better option to fight against false allegations.

Try to learn from well-intended criticism. Be careful with unfair criticism and personal attacks. Personal attacks and unfair criticism should be defended in a proper way.

Business

How To Get Employees To Tell You Their Best Ideas

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Your company has many employees which mean you have access to an unlimited number of the best ideas. But do you ever wonder why they don’t approach you? Despite their numbers, are most of them uninspired? Or is everything just about the status quo and only a few ideas are acknowledged? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it means that your company is just like any other company out there. Luckily, you can change this so that your employees contribute ideas regularly. An atmosphere where ideas can flourish and expressed can help give our company a competitive edge. Here are some tips to follow to get employees to tell their ideas.

Change “Yes but” to “Yes and”

Responding “yes but” to ideas give off a negative vibe. According to Ed Harrington, CEO of Ideas to Go; the “but” kills the best ideas and is akin to closing the door on their face. However, switching to a “yes and” invites further participation. You are essentially telling them to go on and to explore their ideas. It invites more discussion which can help broaden the idea and maybe give it enough lift to let it fly.

Make A List of Good Ideas And How To Make It Better

Encourage employees to make a list and then invite other people to help make it better. Sometimes, employees feel intimidated when talking to their supervisor. Making a list and then inviting other co-workers to help make the idea better is a good way not only to involve the whole team but it can help refine the idea and help it reach the next level. Don’t worry about possible problems that might crop up. Remember that it’s not a list of potential drawbacks or obstacles.

For example, you have an idea on how to lower cost and you post it in a bulletin board. Your coworkers can come up with solutions on how to make this come true. With participation from the whole team, possible drawbacks can be identified and solutions optimized.

Don’t Make Idea Killing Pronouncements

Making pronouncements is not only counterproductive, it is also very arrogant. Leaders and top management who want to take advantage of the creative juice should refrain from making idea killing pronouncement. Instead of making these types of statements, encourage employees to think critically, give them room to explore their ideas, let them think outside the box and always encourage discussions that lead to advancement of ideas. In other words, don’t tell them right away that the idea won’t work. Give ideas proper consideration and room to play out.

Trust Them

One of the reasons why employees don’t have interesting ideas is because they know you don’t trust them enough. This does not only cover creativity but authority too. Managers that trust their employees create an environment where employees know that they are valued. This makes them feel inspired which can lead to creativity and result in the best ideas.

Provide Constructive Feedback

Not all ideas pan out but not acknowledging them can have devastating effects on employees. Employees need encouragement and feedback especially constructive ones. As leaders, you have the responsibility of nurturing employees and not giving them useful feedback can hinder their growth as working individuals. Constructive feedback gives employees new insight, perspective, promotes trust and prevents hurt feelings.

Share Vision

Share your visions and ideas with your employees on a regular basis. This works just like letting employees make a list and inviting people to improve it. When you share your best ideas and visions to your team they get a picture of the direction you want the company to go. Your employees can have ideas that can make your idea better. They can help improve upon your original idea to make it better. When employees have no idea where the ship is going, their thought are unfocused because they are navigating blindly. Sharing your ideas on the other hand could lead to a win-win situation.

Every employee could have something up their sleeve to help make your product or service better. Leadership is not only about steering your ship in the right direction. It is also about acknowledging that they have ideas that you can use to beat the competition.

 

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5 Effective Workplace Communication Hacks

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Communication is a key factor in many aspects of life. Often times, miscommunication impacts work in a negative way. However, proper communication assures that everybody is on the same page. Good communication improves relationships not only with co-workers but with your family and friends too.  Effective workplace communication for what you need makes life and work flow easily.

How you communicate with co-workers need careful consideration. For example, what is the right way to communicate? Do you send a text message or email? Are you communicating enough information? Is your method of workplace communication accessible?

Communication goes beyond writing or speaking. Here are some tips to make you an effective communicator at work.

1. Listen

Workplace communication is not just about writing a good email or sending a timely text message. Effective communication begins with listening. One mistake in listening could lead to errors in communication which could lead to problems in the workplace. This is why listening carefully is very important. One mistake people frequently make is talking over each other. To become an effective communicator and better listener, it is better to let a person finish talking before responding. When you do not fully listen to a person, key information could be lost which can lead to blunders and miscommunication.

2. Pay Attention To Body Language

Sometimes people say a great deal without opening their mouths. Communication is not just about talking because a great deal of it takes place non-verbally. We can communicate with expressions on our faces, gestures and body language. When communicating with other people, always make the best impression. Make eye contact, stand tall or sit up straight or give firm handshakes. This type of behavior conveys self-confidence. When you are confident you colleagues know it.

3. Get to The Point

When at work, people are normally busy including your colleagues. There are times when background information is needed and there are times when they are not. Know the appropriate instances where you need to impart background. Getting to the point quickly will prevent your audience from getting bored. A long winded email is not always alright. In fact, some people include a lengthy introduction or start with a totally unrelated subject. People who do this are not only wasting their time but their co-workers too. Be direct in all forms of workplace communication and raise 3 to 4 points if needed. Some people appreciate small talk but it is always better to get to the point especially in important matters.

4. Message Sent and Message Received Is Not Always The Same

Many negative situations arise and can be avoided if people do not make wrong assumptions after reading a text or email. The problem with written communication is that we are our own filter. We are usually the ones to determine the tone of the communication and conclude whether it is positive or negative. The problem arises when we determine that the tone is negative even if there is none. Giving color or reading a certain missive in a different light is natural because we all have different experiences and react differently to each one. When this happens, it is better to step back and take a moment to calm down. Remember that tone cannot be conveyed in emails and text. If you’re confused, ask for a face-to-face meeting. This can deflect any negative connotations and help clear up the air so that communication between people is always clear. It is unprofessional to make something out of nothing.

5. Know Your Audience

People like to communicate a certain way. For example, there are many people on top that prefer to talk to their people face-to-face rather than a teleconference. There are people who prefer communication via email while others are alright being contacted through text or a mobile phone call. If a co-worker is struggling to finish drafts in the computer, wouldn’t it be better to print a hard copy so to make editing faster? Knowing their preferred method of communication will help speed up response. Aside from this, knowing your audience helps things to run smoothly in the office.

Mastering communication strategies will you a better communicator. By listening, figuring out non-verbal cues, knowing preferred ways of communication, getting to the point quickly and not making assumptions will show that you are a reliable employee.

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7 Truths Of Entrepreneurship No One Tells You

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Founders sitting around outside table

Being an entrepreneur is a high-risk and high-reward journey that only few can withstand. Nowdays, becoming an entrepreneur seems like a worthwhile pursuit. Afterall, you get to be your own boss. You make lots of money, right? And best of all, you get to wear the much sought after badge of honor – that you’re a part of the 1%. Much of that is fiction and the reality of entrepreneurship is hardly anything like what the media and entertainment industry portrays. Everyone knows entrepreneurship is difficult, but very few know just how difficult and what the journey is actually like. Here are the 7 Truths about entrepreneurship that very few people will tell you.

1) No One Cares That You’re An Entrepreneur

lonely entrepreneur facing wall

One of the perk of being a self proclaimed “entrepreneur” is that you’re among the special few. Nothing could be further from the truth. Once you become a recognized “entrepreneur”, you’ll realize just how many of you there are. And no one really cares about one another. No one thinks about you, cares about you, or believe your idea is special. At least not yet. As hard to swallow as it is, people don’t care that you’re an entrepreneur as much as you think.

2) You Never Escaped The 9-5

Store open sign

Another common reasons people become entrepreneurs is to escape the traditional nine to five work week. I hate to disappoint you, but that’s literally the complete opposite of what will happen. Not only are you not going to escape it, you end up having to work the ten-to-two in addition to the nine-to-five. You’ll miss the days where you get to relax and stop thinking about work after 5PM. And you’ll certainly miss only having to work 40 hours a week.

3) Someone Already Did It

Female founder working

You became an entrepreneur because you thought you were doing something unique and cool. And you also thought that you were the only one in the known entire universe that’s ever thought of that idea. Oh boy, you couldn’t be more wrong. Little did you know, you’ve been typing in all the wrong keywords on Google to find your competitors. The moment you begin to seriously research your competitors, you start to find them. And you’ll also realize that in many cases, your competitors are older than you, more experienced, and have more funding. Prepare to be demoralized.

4) No One Wants To Give You Money

Founder pitching to investors

To make matter worse, no one wants to invest in your idea at this stage. If you’re just starting out, you likely have very little to show for. And savvy investors want to put their money where they will have the highest chance of getting a return of investment, and you’re just not it, not yet at least. But along the way, you’ll realize just how difficult fundraising can be. For most entrepreneurs, it takes anywhere between 6 months to a year to secure their first round of funding. For some, it will take even longer. So if you’re in need of capital, be prepare to play the long game.

5) You Stopped Loving It

Frustrated founder

And the tragic truth will seek you out one day. One day, you’ll sit at a coffee shop waiting for your next meeting to show up. You’ve hardly slept the night before. You can’t even sort out all the tasks you haven’t done this week. As you’re sitting there, you can feel both your energy, hope, and aspiration dwindling. That’s when you realized you no longer love what you do. You started this journey because you believed that it was something you loved and that you could spend the rest of your life doing. After all, that’s what everyone’s been telling you, that you need to pursue your passion. And here you are, out of money, out of luck, and out of fuel.

Every entrepreneur will eventually come to the point where passion no longer fuels the journey. This is the most critical point in your entrepreneurial pursuit. Because this is where most people get up and walk away. The ones who succeed recognize they need to seek out something more than just a passion, they need a real purpose.

6) Everything Works Out As Long As You Stay In The Game

Successful businessman

And for those with unbreakable will and perseverance, you’ll be rewarded in the end. You’ll soon realize that as long as you stay in the game long enough, you can succeed. Sure, there’s likely to be a lot of pivoting and changing your business plan. But that’s all a part of growing and evolving your company. One day you will get the funding you want. One day, your product will finally find a place in the market. And one day, you’ll be living the life you once dreamed of.

7) It’s All Worth It In the End

Business people fist bumping at table

This is what every successful entrepreneur will tell you. And that it’s all worth it in the end. You’ll realize it’s called a journey for a reason. It’s a long, tough, and challenging journey that’s meant to break even the bravest adventurers. You’ll look back and miss all the fun and excitement of figuring things out. And you’ll laugh at all the silly failures you didn’t see until much later. If you stick with it until the very end, you’ll find out that it was worth every ounce of sweat and tears.

 

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