Take Harsh Criticism in Stride

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Whether it’s an office rival or a well-intended colleague, someone will likely say something punitive or hurtful to you at some point in your career. When it happens, remember:

  • Don’t respond right away. Resist the temptation to snap back. There is no use in getting angry or creating a nasty paper trail. Take time to cool off and then reply cordially.
  • Determine if you’re overreacting. Ask yourself whether the comment was really that bad. Sometimes a thoughtful offer to help can seem like an insult.
  • Forgive, but remember. Don’t hold a grudge, but keep in mind that if you are ever asked for a reference about the person, you can give a frank answer.

Adapted from “How to Deal with Critics” by Dorie Clark.

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