At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m a software developer. If you aren’t one, you’d probably imagine us as sitting in a dark corner in front of a bright screen, typing away.
But really, I’d imagine pretty much like any other professionals, we spend a lot of time working with people.
Working with people introduces a whole range of new challenges.
I’ve worked with people who expected everyone else to be professional, and so respond well to all criticism. I’ve worked with others who got easily offended by constructive criticism. I’m sure I’ve been a bit of both myself, actually.
And this is the point. We’re humans. We have feelings, and ego. We should check them out at the door when we get to work, but it doesn’t work like that.
In my role as a consultant I try to remind my colleagues of both sides of this coin. When delivering constructive criticism, we need to remember we’re talking to a person. As professional as they may be, they still have feelings and can’t fully detach their work from their ego.
When receiving criticism at work, we need to remember it’s not personal. We can take it and try to grow and improve.
So give me your criticism, but don’t go breaking my heart. I’ll try and do the same.