It’s happened to all of us at some time. In spite of our best efforts we have been on the receiving end of some sort of criticism. Here are some ideas on how to handle it:
- You don’t have to respond fully right now.
- If you must respond now then make it something neutral and agree that you will take their comments on board and give a fuller answer later (if required).
- Allow the emotion to die down. Nobody likes to be criticised. If it helps then get it out of your system by writing a response that will never be spent.
- Bear in mind that they may have had a difficult day/week/year and just lashed out at the first available person. This may not be about you at all.
- Having taken the emotion out can you see if there was a genuine problem or if there is something that might have been misinterpreted as a problem from their point of view?
- Can you do anything to rectify this now or put ego aside to apologise appropriately and compensate if necessary?
- Is there anything that you can put in place to stop the problem recurring on to prevent similar misunderstandings?
- Having learned the lessons go and read some of the positive things from your book of testimonials, awards etc*
- Set the matter aside and get on with your business
I appreciate that this is all a lot easier to type than to do but the important thing is not to inflame the situation further.
*If you don’t already have a Positive Book then start collecting nice comments now ready for when you’re having a down day.