Whether you’re a woman climbing the career ladder and trying to break that glass ceiling at work or having issues in your personal life. Knowing how to respond when you are being criticised is incredibly hard to navigate. So, I’ve put a short blog together to give you some advice on how to ASSERTIVELY handle criticism.

Self disclosure
Be honest about how you’re feeling from the criticism without trying to blame someone. Your motivation should be to give the other person a clear picture of where you’re at in the moment.

Real Issue
Ask a simple question to get behind the words they’re saying and determine their intent – “what’s the purpose of your comment/feedback?”

Qualified agreement
“you might be right”
People don’t expect this. It allows you to respond calmly without being defensive. NB It’s important that you ask the next question!


Negative Inquiry

What is about X, that makes you feel like Y? This puts the focus on how their own thoughts and feelings are reflected in their criticism of you and rather than continue to make judgement about your behaviour it moves the conversation to uncovering facts. If someone criticises you, you don’t have to prove they’re wrong, they should either prove they’re right, drop it or admit their judgement is unfounded and say sorry. Avoid asking “what’s wrong with what I did?” It keeps the focus on you.


And if they are right – own up and take it on the chin. Being ASSERTIVE goes hand in hand with humility. Owning up to mistakes
is an assertive response one that focuses on preventing the same mistake from happening again.

And lastly ….