Learning To Accept Criticism
Sometimes the feedback we get from others isn’t pleasing even though it may be accurate. Many of us struggle with criticism. We look for explanations to justify the issue and react in defense to what has been said. Some people result in anger, hatred and even attacking the person who gave the feedback. But being able to handle constructive criticism calmly is very critical. It helps us to identify our weaknesses and work towards improving them. Here’s what you need to remember:
Don’t react immediately
The first reaction you will probably have after receiving constructive criticism is likely not going to be nice. You may want to give that nasty facial expression, enter into defense mode or attack the person. Don’t do it; just hold back and process the situation. Remind yourself that you need to stay calm.
Think of the value of feedback
Consider the person’s feedback as information that you can otherwise use to improve your skills, relationship and any other area of concern. Perhaps that person had a certain expectation of you that you probably did not meet. Try and get rid of any preconceived notions that you may have of the person who is giving the feedback. Whether it is a coworker that you do not like or someone you don’t get along with, understand that constructive criticism may come from all sources.
Listen with an aim to understand
You need to listen closely to the information that is being delivered to you. Overcome the temptation of interrupting the person as they share their thoughts. Do not try and analyze their thoughts but instead understand their perspective of things. Try and give that person the benefit of the doubt. It may help you to look at things in a way you never thought. The only way that you will actually benefit from the feedback you receive is if you engage in a very productive conversation with the person giving it. Don’t reply in a defensive and mean tone.
Even though you are not supposed to overdo this, thank the person who shared the feedback with you. Simply taking your time to say thank you doesn’t mean that you agree on everything the person said. It is simply a gesture that you acknowledged that they took time to evaluate you and share information that could help you become a better person or produce greater results.
Get more clarity
Once you have processed the feedback, it’s probably a good thing to ask questions in order to understand the person’s perspective. Ask questions that are related to the issue that was being raised. You can also ask about methods or solutions to address the issues raised. You can use specific examples to try and understand the person’s perspective and what can be done in similar circumstances. At the same time, share your perspective. You can even request for time to follow up if you would like to close the discussion. At this point, you can express what you will change going forward and agree on the next steps to take.
Dr. Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D. Cert. Developmental and Behavioral Specialist and Associates
5458 Town Center Road, Suite 7, Boca Raton, FL 33486 ph(561)-990-7305