Each one of you will or have got criticism before one time or another. Automatically, when people are telling you what you did wrong. It’s immediately an attitude or that not true coming to mind. I know for me I would automatically get in defense mode. Of course, we want to protect our character right? As I grew in my maturity over the years I realize that hmmm… this is not even about me. Before, I would immediately think they’re talking about me and my character then talking it for what it is. Everyone has their opinion on what you can do better but you got to keep in mind that even though everyone is going to have a opinion there will be times whether to see whether the opinion is useful to you or not. If it’s my boss at work, then most times their only critiquing my work to aid in me being successful later. However, if it’s an associate offering an opinion on what I should or shouldn’t be doing then it’s something that I would just brush off immediately. So, it took me a bit to get to the point of how to take criticism without being all defensive or frantic so wanted to share them with you.
1) STOP your first response
Immediately when someone says how I’m doing something wrong. I would either one defend myself with an excuse on how it wasn’t my fault or two get upset. I know I’m not the only one who does this. Our first response is to protect ourselves but what you want to do is immediately stop your first response which means simply staying quiet and stopping your negative emotion until you thought about what the person said. You want to be classy in this situation and a lot of times we forget to “think before you react.” Staying quiet and stopping that first responses gives you time to think. Also, I don’t want anyone taking a long pause I mean a simple counting to 10 in your head or 10-15 second pause to stop the feeling of immediately having to defend yourself.
2) SEPARATE YOURSELF from the actual criticism
Next, you want to separate yourself from what’s being said. You might be thinking how do you do this? Right. Well this is the moment in the steps where you work on not taking it as an attack to your personal character. If someone is giving you praise. of course we will be happy about what is being said but let it be negative you can immediately think it’s an attack on who you are. I’m here to tell you that half the time it really isn’t. Remember, people are going to have an opinion but it’s about your perspective. Imagine that the people are not talking about you personally to try to see the value into what they’re saying. Their views can be along the lines of personal growth or tips on how to do something even better. Read between the lines before making judgments.
3) IS THIS HELPFUL information?
Then, you want to decide if this information helpful and useful to you? If you did the first two steps and the information offers no value to you. Feel free to simply let it go and move on. You want to keep the valued information to yourself then lose the rest. When you find what is of value you can turn each negative criticism into a positive by making them into actionable goals for you to work on for yourself. So, if someone says, “Your always late” turn it into a positive by making your goal into “getting up 30 minutes earlier.”
4) KEEP IT CLASSY
Now, you always have to keep it classy right? I hope you said yes. So, what we don’t want to do is give the person attitude, a head roll or eye roll before leaving. You want to simply say thank you and do what you got to do to work on your personal growth. If you’re getting praise from people around you sometimes it’s good to ask what you can improve on? It’s good to always be learning and growing into a better you.
How do you handle criticism? Do you have any more tips to add?