Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

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:

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at