I’ve received a “bad” critique from a teammate. How do I handle it? Knowledge Base

Handle it with professionalism. At some point in our writing careers, we’ll receive feedback or reviews that are less than stellar, less than useful, and often completely off-base. It is going to happen. And with new teams and new teammates, it’s likely to happen more than once.

But before you sound a call to arms, take a moment to consider that feedback in the context of the situation:

  1. Is the critic new to the team? If they are a new, but experienced member, they may have missed out on discussions surrounding critique expectations. It is likely that their previous team had different expectations1. Take time to orient your teammate, and help them understand what is expected of them within their new team.
  2. Is the critic new to critiques in general? If they are, then take time to guide2 them—cultivating good working habits begins with recognizing those habits within yourself, and nurturing similar habits in others.

Now, if none of the above apply, then the best thing to do is review the “bad” critique and take note of what makes it less valuable than other critiques. Try to discuss the issue one-on-one when possible. However, if you find it necessary, you can discuss your grievance with your team captain to determine how to best to approach your teammate: together or individually.

Learn to set and communicate expectations in a respectful manner. Good communication can often overcome many team-related issues.

  1. This type of discussion is most valuable at the outset of a sprint—specifically, Week 1 of every sprint. It is an opportunity to prepare your work, and to set expectations for the team as a whole. ↩︎
  2. The Critique Guidelines are always a good place to start. ↩︎

Last Edited: 23 months ago