You Should Take Criticism To Heart – Here’s How
From Guest Blogger Corinne Ledling | While it's important to take criticism seriously, it doesn't pay to take it personally.
And that's not easy when you're dealing with a piece of negative feedback. On the one hand, you should be able to clearly recognize in which points you're not meeting specific expectations. On the other, you should weigh the potential negative perceptions other people may have of you.
Ultimately, taking criticism to heart is the best way to grow as a professional. You don't want to make the same mistake over and over again just because nobody had the courage to tell you that you're doing something wrong.
However, letting every critique affect your ego negatively is bound to be harmful in the long run. That way, your self-confidence will decrease, and you won't be able to grow.
Here are 9 strategies to help you take criticism to heart and survive.
1. Don’t take it personally
Just don't. Constructive criticism never reflects who you are as a person. It is merely a set of observations made by someone about their interactions with you.
The person may be well-meaning or mean-spirited. You can't know that for sure, but ultimately that doesn't really matter.
That's why it's a good idea always to respond as if your critic's intentions were good. Try to come from a place of gratitude when processing that negative feedback. Trust that you're smart enough to identify whether the feedback is valid and you should follow that person's suggestions.
2. Ask for more information
Not many people feel comfortable offering negative feedback. If you see that the person in front of you is dancing around the issue or trying to be as gentle as possible, encourage them to share their opinion. In order to get into the heart of the matter, you will need more information.
Show with your body language and words that you are open to receiving feedback and have nothing against hearing what people think about your behavior or work. After all, if you are really making mistakes, it would be better if someone told you before these errors become irreparable.
3. Don't react emotionally
It's entirely normal that you feel happy when receiving praise and defensive when you're being scolded.
But when receiving feedback, it's smart to put emotions aside and look closely at its content. Are there any clues that could help you in personal growth? One way to do that is by analyzing the criticism by pretending that the other person is not talking about you.
Carefully analyze the feedback and try to read between the lines. You may get a lot of valuable knowledge from it.
4. Filter out unnecessary parts
No criticism is useful in 100%. There will be many things you will hear that are not actionable and derive from subjective opinion. That's why it pays to take a closer look at the content of the criticism and filter out the unnecessary bit to focus on the valuable insights that you can implement in your life.
5. Write it down
A smart way to make sure that you understand the criticism and put it into action is explaining it to yourself. By writing it down in your own words, you will remove the emotional element from it and distance yourself. Look at it with a clear mind, and you will be able to separate content from how it made you feel. That way, you will be far more likely to act on it.
6. Transform information into action
It's not enough to understand the criticism. The next step is putting it into action. Once you filter out the specific and actionable tips, it's time to develop measurable goals using them as the foundation.
For example, if someone complains that your descriptions are too long and contain too little information about a particular story, or character, make it a goal for yourself to reduce the length of your next piece of writing and include data that was missing. By doing that, you will be showing the person that you took their words to hard and trying to improve your work.
7. Act like a feedback mirror
Remember that when someone decides to share negative feedback with you, they are also making themselves vulnerable to criticism. That's why people tend to be honest very rarely.
How many times have you told someone what you really think about their behavior?
Nobody is perfect, and people are usually aware of their faults. That's why you should aim to become a partner in self-improvement. You can do that by telling others that their criticism was very valuable to you and that you would be happy to return the favor.
8. Work on your attitude
How can you be more positive about the feedback, even when it is negative? If you feel discouraged or depressed, you need to change your attitude. Instead of treating criticism as proof of your failure, look at it as a chance to get better at your work and grow as a person. You're probably well aware of your strengths by now, but are you accepting of your weaknesses? Once you recognize and start working on them, you'll be on your way not only to growth but also to greater self-confidence.
9. Let people know about your progress
That point is about your relationship with the person who gave you feedback. If you respect that person, take their advice seriously and improve your performance. At this point, it is smart to share your progress with that individual and show them that their concern has been heard.
You can do that by getting better in the area that was criticized, but also by updating the person on what you've been up to in response to their feedback.
Don't be hard on yourself. Remember that nobody is perfect and everyone could use some improvement in various areas of their life.
And that’s what constructive criticism is about. It’s essential to our growth. If you take criticism to
heart, you will be rewarded with valuable information to help you develop as a person and
About the Author
Corinne Ledling is a businesswoman who’s very passionate about her job. She’s a Content Manager at Bizstats.co.uk and in her free time, she loves to read mystery books and write short stories.