How Ryan realized what stopped him from accepting Criticism at work
To begin with, this was my first job. I had gotten placed during my college’s campus interviews. As great as I felt about having bagged this job back then, my experience at work was turning out to be pathetic.
Barely a few days into my joining, I saw how my office had its predefined set of groups. I felt like an absolute outcast! And if this was not all, I now also had to deal with a nagging manager.
It were not just the judgmental remarks of my manager, but also the fact that I was critiquing myself for being such a loser at work. I missed my college days, and regretted growing up.
Eventually, I decided to discuss my problems with somebody because I had had enough of them. Day in and out I would feel miserable, hopeless, and would curse myself for the life I had. I knew that soon I would reach my breaking point. It was now or never.
The best part about speaking to a Professional Counsellor was her neutral approach and openness to accept what I had to say. Instead of being an agony aunt and telling me what was right and wrong, we worked around my issue as a team.
My Experience and How it Helped
My counsellor and I broke down my situation into bits and pieces. I realized, that just like my colleagues, I too had never attempted to approach them. In simple words, I was critiquing them for something I myself was doing. My counsellor motivated me to take the first step; I would never know if I did not even try.
The next step was to understand my manager’s nags. As we evaluated every aspect of my sad state of affairs, it was clear that he was partially right. I was not being as efficient as I could be, and that was visible to him as well. The fact that I felt unwelcomed at work had turned me into this sad, demotivated, unproductive fresher.
All of these answers slowly unfolded during the course of my conversation with the counsellor. It was evident that at a personal level, it was important for me to feel accepted in order to be productive. While my situation would work for some, for me, it was turning me into an emotional wreck!
I then went back to work - this time convinced that I would put in the much required efforts to get to know my coworkers. I realized that it was okay if people did not approach me first like I had expected them to, but it was not okay for me to feel depressive about it.
Over the next few days, I saw myself socializing with my teammates. Work did not seem that boring anymore. I also found my long lost rush to complete something assigned to me. The difference between hurtful and helpful feedback was finally clear.
Once the dots had been connected and taken care of, I saw that I was now handling criticism with great poise and professionalism. It's not that I was never critiqued post that phase, but I had a fair understanding of how constructive it was.
Even during moments wherein the feedback would overwhelm me, I would ensure that my responses were prim and proper. This would not only make people respect me more, it also improved my writing skills by a great deal! I was finally beginning to like my life.
I give myself all those brownie points for having contacted my counsellor. It was then that I viewed my situation through the lense of optimism, and identified positive ways of dealing with it. In the end, I can safely say that I had won. :-)