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I remember the first feedback I received on a marketing project. My boss completely ripped through my work with the infamous red pen. I was crushed. I thought I made a career mistake. I went home feeling devastated.
The next day I was asking a co-worker about my work and she confirmed that while the boss can be hard, this is just the nature of the game in marketing. She told me to think about that one college paper that came back to me loaded with red marks. That C- is just a draft for us. We get a do-over. Now, I welcome the red pen of opinions. It’s great to see how others view a project I am working on. We don’t have to agree but we can be respectful.
If your boss tells you that you did something wrong, do you get flustered about the exchange? As long as your boss is not saying something about you personally, you should not take what he or she said to heart. It’s the job of a boss to make sure you are heading in the right direction. Too many people will take the criticism as an assault to their character, and this can be a problem.
Develop Tough Skin
You cannot know everything there is to know about your company or the people who work there. That means you will naturally make mistakes. Embrace the mistakes as a learning experience. You are not going to last long in your job if you take everything that people say about you in a personal way. That attitude will hurt you in so many ways. No one will want to work with you or have you on their team. People don’t want to “tiptoe” around you or cater to your insecurities.
It’s a wonderful way to learn and get feedback on what you are supposed to do and avoid doing what you shouldn’t. If you take what is said personally, you probably won’t listen to the criticism. Therefore, you hold your entire team back from reaching its goals. It won’t take long before you are given your exit papers and are fired. It’s a simple maturing process. Step outside of yourself and see the situation for what it truly is. When you own your own company, you can have complete control over decision-making.
Of course, if someone says something that is personal and they shouldn’t have said it, you have the right to confront the person saying it. It’s one thing to say that you performed a certain job incorrectly, etc. But, if someone says you are incompetent or stupid, then you should not let them get away with that and handle the situation immediately.
Sometimes people will say something in a joking manner, and you may not take it as lightly as it was intended. This situation can be difficult because if you get too confrontational, you could be made to look bad. Others may say it was only a joke. Not all humor is funny though, and people have differing tastes on what constitutes humor. Your best bet in this situation is to calmly state that you didn’t find what the person said as being funny and ask them to refrain from making such jokes. Then, everyone should move on.
It’s usually a good idea to not focus on gossip. Someone may tell you that you were the subject of some gossip. The best action to take is usually to do nothing at all because you won’t be able to prove what was said. You will find yourself in an awkward position if you go around accusing people of saying something and they deny it. One of the things I always say in these situations is, “What did you say?” I am more interested in what the person delivering the gossip said more than where they said it came from.
Be careful! There are people who love drama and would love to stir up problems for you at work.
How do you handle working with different personalities in the workplace?