I have been told I am good at my job by my bosses and was promoted last year. But if I have one major flaw it is that I am not great at taking criticism. Recently, after a bad week, I reacted really rather badly to criticism from my manager and got a telling off from senior management. I have been warned that this could hold me back so would appreciate some advice on doing something about it.
one-way, delivered as angry, generalised attacks.
Why do you behave the way you do? My guess is as a child you were on the receiving end of harsh comment by a parent and you fought back the only way you then knew - yelling, tears or counter-accusations. Whatever the cause, your boss is right. These are not helpful behaviours.
You need a robust protocol to help you. Frequently ask for feedback, including what you are getting right. This puts you in control. When you hear a generalised criticism, don't fire back but ask for a specific example. Summarise the comment to show you are listening, then ask: 'What was the impact of my behaviour on the situation?' Ask for clarification on anything you don't understand, then ask: 'What would you suggest I do instead?' Only at this stage offer a brief and calm explanation. Thank the person for the feedback because it is a gift. Without it, it is impossible to improve. Finally, learn how to give feedback properly yourself. This may take a lot of the sting out of it for you.
Management coach and director, Management Futures