The Business Coach with Laura Murphy: Criticism has demoralised me

Question: “I thought I was doing quite well but now my boss has criticised my work. I’m shocked and don’t know what to do next.” Sarah

Answer: “Let’s have a reality check here. Were you really so good at your job that you would never be open to criticism? The answer is probably no as we all make mistakes. So what is it that’s shocked you so much?

Unless your boss is completely deficient in emotional intelligence in how s/he fed back, I suspect that the issue here is your own underlying lack of confidence. You need more than this column to help build that but here’s a couple of things you can do immediately.

Look at your work objectively and think about colleagues’ positive comments. From that, list what you have done well and why.

Note how you feel, the positive emotion that it brings and praise yourself for those achievements.

Now think to future projects and plan how you might use the skills that made you successful before. At the end of today, and every day, write down all the things you did well.

It could be showing interest in another colleague’s work, solving a problem, being a considerate driver.

The idea is to build in your mind a pattern of achievement thus building your inner self confidence. Then, when you’re ready, think about the comments your boss made and take from them the lessons you need to further improve what you do.

By now, you’ll find them not so demoralising and be able to accept that he was commenting on your actions, not on you as an individual.”

Laura is an organisation development specialist and executive coach with mtc2 ltd and was Highly Commended in the Eastbourne Business Awards Business Person of the Year. To solve your problem email Tweet @WayfinderWoman Names and details have been changed to protect confidentiality.