Be Ready for These Uncomfortable Situations at Work

Uncomfortable SituationYou’ll face some awkward moments in your career, but your success depends on your ability to overcome your weaknesses. Be prepared for uncomfortable moments like these:

• Accepting a compliment. Criticism is hard to take, but for some people, accepting a compliment can be almost as nerve-wracking. Don’t shrug compliments off or explain your actions at great length. Listen, thank the person sincerely, and then move on.

• Misunderstanding data. Even if your job doesn’t involve analyzing numbers, learn some basics, like how to read a spreadsheet, understand a budget, recognize trends, and play with data to see what happens when you change a variable.

• Admitting your mistakes. We all make mistakes. Trying to hide them, or blaming them on forces beyond your control, makes you look unreliable and unprofessional. Own up to your errors honestly and then do your best to fix them.

• Receiving criticism. Everyone likes praise, but we usually learn more from criticism. Learn to listen with an open mind and without becoming defensive. If the criticism is accurate, do your best to change. If you think it’s wrong, remain calm as you explain your point of view—and remember that you can’t win every battle. Sometimes you’ll have to take the criticism and keep going.

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