Have you ever had constructive feedback for a co-worker, but were afraid it might hurt that person’s feelings? Have you ever received criticism from a supervisor or co-worker that upset you? Chances are that we’ve all encountered these two situations. Why is it so difficult to offer or accept constructive criticism? The answer is simple. If we don’t have a mature mindset, even the most constructive criticism will lead to unnecessary confrontations.

When I started in my professional career, I struggled with accepting constructive criticism. The reason I had a difficult time accepting helpful feedback is because I framed it incorrectly in my mind. Instead of approaching the critique with an open mind and considering why that person was saying this to me, I would feel attacked and become defensive. I believe I would react this way out of fear that I was in trouble or that this person didn’t like me. This was an immature way to look at the situation. I’ve learned through experience that criticism is necessary to help foster growth.

A person with a mature mindset takes time to process constructive feedback and try and learn from it. If we are all working towards a mature mindset, then we shouldn’t be afraid to provide a co-worker with constructive criticism. A person with a mature mindset will welcome the opportunity to learn and grow from constructive feedback. This will also help you grow as a person and strengthen your relationships with your co-workers.

I encourage you to think about constructive criticism in a mature way. If you have constructive feedback for a co-worker, share it with them and have a collaborative conversation with that person focused on growth. If you receive constructive criticism, think about why you are receiving this feedback. Is there some truth in what this person is saying? How can I learn and grow based on their feedback?

Chris Abercrombie is a Senior Analyst at Abacus CPAs, LLC.  He thoroughly enjoys working on tax returns, specializing in transportation-related tax issues, and is excellent in situations that require the strategic organization of information. Chris sets priorities and puts them into appropriate sequences.

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