Monday, May 19, 2014

How to Embrace Criticism

Taking a very long walk.
Do you ever feel like simply avoiding some feedback that's headed your way?

Sometimes I'd rather have someone keep their opinion to themselves. If they're not happy, if they are sounding judgmental, if they have a frowny face. Wouldn't be easier if they just kept quiet?

Easier in that moment. And, sometimes maybe it's even the best thing possible if a harsh critic keeps a damaging opinion private. But I've also learned that sometimes the toughest message is what I truly need to hear in order to learn.

Just because I don't like criticism doesn't mean it isn't good for me.

I just might need to take a good long afterwards.

How about you?

Here's how to embrace criticism:

  1. Remember, they could be wrong. As my friend Dr. Jay Desko has said, "feedback says more about the person providing the feedback than it does about you."
  2. Stay curious. There is probably something useful to learn.
  3. Remember that a defensive reaction more likely signals a learning moment than it does any real danger.
  4. Stress can create growth. Once the learning moment is over, build in some recovery time by doing something you really like.
  5. Thank the person for their feedback.
  6. Ask them if they'd like your views about their performance or their feedback. (people are less likely to be unkind if they know their turn is coming up next!)

-- Douglas Brent Smith

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