Tips and Tricks: Responding to Feedback

Dealing with Destructive Criticism

Sometimes people give destructive criticism and come across as rude or inconsiderate of others’ feelings. In some cases, this behaviour is what’s most familiar to them and their emotions get the better of them.

Here are a few things you can do to handle it:

  • Control your emotions – By reacting to the negative energy, it’s very likely that you’ll make the situation worse.


  • Take a moment to respond – Rather than reacting immediately, give yourself a bit of time to collect your thoughts, take a deep breath, and respond unemotionally.


  • Learn to detach from destructive criticism – If the criticism isn’t valid, don’t take it on. Move on and do not dwell.


Responding to Criticism

To complete this activity, read each criticism and decide whether it is constructive or destructive. Then, based on what you’ve learned in this module, write down a response to each criticism in your notebook. Be sure to write what you should say and not what you might want to say in the heat of the moment.


  1. “You haven’t shown me that you’re a team player. You come in late and leave a mess behind at the end of the day at your station” – Your Boss


  1. “You’re really slowing me down. You’re too young, and you don’t know what you’re doing.” – Co-Worker


  1. “Hold on! It’s not safe to use that chisel. See? The end is flattened out.” – Co-Worker


  1. “Why can’t you figure out what you really need? I’m sick of taking stuff back. Get your act together!” – Supplier


  1. “After that mistake I made, I know everyone hates me. I’ll never be part of this team.” – Co-Worker


  1. “I think you have a lot of potential as a carpenter, if you’re willing to work hard on your math skills. I know of a training course that could help, can I tell you about it?” – Supervisor


  1. “The goggles you’ve got are pieces of junk. Why don’t you get some new ones? Too stupid to see how important it is, literally?” – Co-Worker


  1. “You need to pay closer attention when you set up the saw for angle cuts; I’ll show you a good way to do that.” – Boss


  1. “This is the third day in a row that you’ve been late. That means you’re lazy and unreliable.” – Boss


  1. “I’ve been meaning to give you these breath mints. Take one, or maybe 12. Every time you come back for lunch, your breath stinks up the joint something fierce.” – Co-Worker


Video Activity

Watch the following: Listening to Feedback

Once you’ve watched the video via the link above, answer the following questions in your notebook:

1. How did you react?

2. How did you feel? Why?

3. What would you do differently?

4. What four steps did the video offer for listening to feedback?

5. Note down some tips from each of those four steps