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Take a deep breath before reacting to critics

It's one thing to be a punching-bag for your bosses, but what about the zingers from your supposedly well-intentioned colleague or office rival? Harvard Business Review says keep cool – and remember that karma is on your side.

"Whether it's an office rival or a well-intended colleague, someone will likely say something punitive or hurtful to you at some point in your career.

When it happens, remember:

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Don't respond right away

Resist the temptation to snap back. There is no use in getting angry or creating a nasty paper trail. Take time to cool off and then reply cordially.

Determine if you're overreacting

Ask yourself whether the comment was really that bad. Sometimes a thoughtful offer to help can seem like an insult.

Forgive, but remember

Don't hold a grudge, but keep in mind that if you are ever asked for a reference about the person, you can give a frank answer."

Today's management tip was adapted from How to Deal with Critics by Dorie Clark.

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