Ten Tips for Taking Criticism
- Understand the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. Is the criticism to build you up or to tear you down? Is it said in a kind, gentle attitude or a judgemental tone? If the criticism is given in public, you can be sure that this person’s intentions are not the best. Is this for personal benefit and growth or is it given from personal hurt?
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you can develop the ability to laugh at yourself, you will be much more relaxed when given or giving criticism.
- Look beyond the criticism and see the critic. Who said it? Who told you that? When I know who the perpetrator is then I know whether to take the critique seriously or not. Is it someone whose character you respect? Is criticism from this person a pattern? Criticism from a positive person, on the other hand, probably deserves your attention. Does the critic sincerely want to help you? Is he/she on your team? Remember that people who are busy rowing seldom have time to rock the boat.
- Watch your own attitude toward the critic. A negative attitude toward criticism can be more destructive than the criticism itself.
- Realise that many good people get criticised. A person whose mind is polluted and whose vision is not clear cannot understand or interpret behaviour based on high values and systems. If you are living on a higher plane than the rest, expect criticism.
- Keep physically, spiritually and mentally in shape. Studies prove that if we are facing physical or mental exhaustion, this has a tremendous effect on the way we act and react.
- Don’t just see the critic; see if there is a crowd. Consider the possibility of you hearing the same criticism from many. If this is the case, and the critics are reliable, you need to realise that you have the challenge to work on. If, on the other hand, you are dealing with a pocket group of negative people, your challenge is not to be affected by them.
- Wait for time to prove them wrong. Time is your best ally. It allows you to prove yourself right.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Enough quality time with positive people who build you up will minimise the effect of negative criticism. It will also discourage you from being critical.
- Concentrate on your mission – change your mistakes. Most people do the direct opposite. They change their mission and concentrate on their mistakes. If you run from your tasks each time you make a mistake, you will never accomplish anything. Count on making mistakes, learn from them and move on to finish the job.
Ten Tips For Giving Criticism
- Check your motive – the goal of confrontation should be to help, not to humiliate.
- Make sure that the issue is worthy of criticism. Do not let yourself be distracted and needled by insignificant issues but rather keep your eyes on the goal.
- Be specific. Say exactly what you mean and be specific, offering examples to ensure that you are being understood clearly.
- Don’t undermine the person’s self-confidence. Try and find at least one area in which you can praise the person before you expose the problem. Avoid statements like “You always…” or “You never…”. Assure them that you have confidence in his/her ability to handle the situation correctly.
- Don’t compare one person with another. Comparisons always cause resentment and resentment causes hostility. If you stick to the facts, you’ll be less likely to put the person on the defensive.
- Be creative or don’t confront. Look beyond the problem and see if you can find some solutions.
- Attack the problem and not the person. Deal with the issue at hand. The expected outcome of a confrontation should be that the offender leaves with a clear understanding of the problem and the hope that he can turn it around positively.
- Confront when the time is right. The right time is as soon as you know that something is wrong. When you have done your investigation – that is when you are prepared.
- Look at yourself before looking at others. Instead of putting others in their place put yourself in their place.
- End confrontation with encouragement. Praise at the beginning and encouragement at the end. To leave a discouraged person without hope is cruel and vindictive.
Ultimately, if we do unto others as we would have them do unto us, then life on earth would be most rewarding! Did you find this blog post helpful? If so, you will