5 ways to handle harsh criticism from your boss

No matter how good or seasoned you are there is always room to grow...


There are numerous things that may run through someone’s mind when their boss calls them into their office “to discuss some things”.

You start wondering whether you have been keeping time when getting to work or whether one of your colleagues has made a complaint about you – all in all it isn’t the greatest feeling in the world.

For those that go into panic mode when the boss tells you this, then these tips should help you handle yourself in such a meeting.

Do not panic

You are not getting fired otherwise your boss wouldn’t have bothered wanting to “discuss some things” with you.

It is simply a meeting of how to get better in the future, for yourself and the company which means they still want you and see the potential in you.

So when you are in such a situation, allow yourself to be calm and listen to what your boss has to say.

Try to understand what message your boss is passing across

Some bosses can come across mean while trying to pass a message across and it is very easy for someone to think that their boss is after them personally.

This can lead them to blurt out something they don’t mean to their boss and they may end up losing their jobs.

If your boss tells you badly you conducted an interview, then try and ask them what about the interview they did not like. Was it the way you spoke to the guest? Were the questions relevant? What should you have said instead?

Make sure that your emotions are in check because the truth does hurt.

Have a plan

The least you can do is take full advantage of the situation and take tips on how to impress your boss – that is usually the ultimate goal of employment after all.

Ask your boss for specific examples of what you did wrong and how you can improve. If you can even brain storm some ideas with them at that moment so that they know you are open to learning and improving.

Make sure you deliver on what you have been asked to improve on.

Explain yourself

Do not be a “yes” person all the time. Your boss did not only call you to that meeting to tell you everything that you have done wrong; he/she also wants to know what you are thinking and what is making you not perform as per the standards.

Communication is a two way street after all.

For example, if your boss is mistaken about something then you are allowed to clear the air and your name in the process.

Keep calm as you do this and make sure you are professional in your answers.

Make a choice

Some bosses out there may be trying to get rid of you by nitpicking at your performance at work so if you are in such a situation then it may be time to make a choice.

They have not really offered you a solution to how you can improve on your work and haven't given you a chance to solve the situation - it happens.

You can either decide to stay at your job or leave and venture into something else.


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