1. A co-worker tells you your clothing is inappropriate for the office. What do you do?
A) Tell the co-worker thank you and start calculating how much a new wardrobe will cost.
B) Ask the co-worker to give you examples of how your choice of clothing impacts the office culture.
C) Ignore her; she’s not your manager.
D) Tell her she’s wrong by pointing out other people who dress the same way you do.
2. In a meeting, your boss criticizes you for a mistake that a co-worker made. What do you do?
A) Keep your mouth shut, thinking you’re taking one for the team.
B) Pull your boss aside after the meeting and let him/her know what’s up.
C) Ask the co-worker who made the mistake to confess to the boss.
D) Stand up immediately during the meeting and let the boss and everyone else know you weren’t at fault.
3. You’re offended when a colleague suggests that you do a more thorough job preparing the next time you give a presentation. What do you do?
A) Start looking for a Toastmaster’s class.
B) Ask yourself why you’re offended and consider whether there are steps you can take to improve your presentation skills.
C) Dismiss the co-worker’s advice; he’s just hating.
D) Thank the co-worker, then point out one of his deficiencies.
4. A friend calls your plans to quit your job and start a business reckless. You’ve prepared for this move for months and you strongly disagree. What do you do?
A) Push back your plans another six months. A little more time can’t hurt.
B) Thank your friend for caring and continue with your plans.
C) Ignore your friend. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
D) Show your friend examples of all of the successful entrepreneurs who have taken a risk.
5. When going over your employee performance review, your manager tells you that your skills aren’t good enough for the sales department and suggests that you think about transferring to customer service. You’ve always wanted to be in sales. What do you do?
A) See what opportunities are in customer service. You may find you like it better there.
B) Ask your manager what specific skills you need to improve upon to do better in sales.
C) Say nothing. You know it’s not true, but how can you argue with your boss?
D) Go to your desk and start looking at job sites for a new employer.
If you answered mostly As, you may be giving other people’s criticisms more weight than your own opinions. While it’s healthy to listen to what other people have to say, always consider your own viewpoints before making a decision to act.
If you answered mostly Bs, you appreciate the feedback of others, but you don’t let it override your own instincts. You have a healthy reaction to constructive criticism by wanting to learn more about others’ perceptions and being willing to change.
If you answered mostly Cs, you might be too quick to dismiss the feedback of others. Constructive criticism can provide insight into our blind spots, so you might want to at least consider the feedback of others before dismissing it.
If you answered mostly Ds, you may be overly defensive about criticism. Even if you disagree with someone’s assessment, you don’t have to debate with them or prove them wrong. Simply thank them for sharing their opinion and go on about your business.