First off, I will start by telling you about one of the times when I was criticized. I was doing my best to get to know, on a deeper level, a person I had been around for years. Because, frankly, I did not feel I really knew him/her. So when he/she approached me to have a heart-to-heart, I thought great, this is perfect. I was hoping we would exchange personal information like best friends share secrets.
Well you can imagine my surprise when the conversation was like this:
“You do this…,” “You do that…,” “You didn’t…,” and “I’m trying to help you OUT.”
With all that, who wouldn’t feel or be defensive. So when there was a pause for reply, my response was – I apologize that you feel that way. I explained I was pre-occupied. I asked him/her what could I do to make things better.
Are you puzzled? Don’t be. Here’s why.
5 Steps to Handling Criticism:
1. When you hear a critique, do your best not to ACT defensive or threatened.
Even though, I know being told you’re wrong or doing something wrong may put you on edge. Take a Breath. Most of the time the critique is not about you. It may really be about the other person.
I know this sounds counter-intuitive to what you may want to do. Saying, “I apologize…” helps to diffuse the situation. A shouting match will not help. *Note: I did not say “I’m sorry” — I said, “I apologize.” Big difference.
3. Reiterate what you heard and Ask questions.
Hopefully you were listening in the first place. Retelling what you heard helps to clarify what has been said. If that person is really trying to help you, they will want you to succeed. Constructive criticism focuses on what went wrong or the result of what was done, not the person. Ask what can you do to fix the situation.
Some sample questions are: “Am I right in understanding you said…?” “I heard…, is that what you meant?” “How can we move forward from this?” “What would you like me to do?”
4. Let it go!
Once the conversation is over and you’ve gone your separate ways, let it go. Do what you said or agreed to do. The main reason is because carrying around someone else’s view of you is hazardous. It’s just one person’s opinion. Sometime, their intent is not pure. So again, Let it go.
and Lastly if all else fails…
5. Ignore it.
Sometime it is not worth acknowledging at all. Walk away and don’t worry about it.
Alright. If you found this helpful, leave a comment. Share and Pass It On.