At Professional Success South, we believe there’s no growth without criticism. And while most people agree with this maxim, the reality is that we always prefer growth over criticism!
Of course, part of success in any field is to shut off negativity as you press towards your goal. However, you cannot always block criticisms. Sometimes, you have to deal with honest, in-your-face feedback from your colleagues or superiors.
Communication skills play a part in how well you handle criticism. We say this based on our experience teaching the art of communication to countless professionals in San Diego, CA. You may click here to learn more about our services.
And today, we will give a few pointers on how to take constructive criticism with a positive attitude and enjoy a more fulfilling career.
Don’t Take It Personally
First and foremost, you have to learn to separate yourself from your work. This isn’t easy, because our identity in society depends mostly, if not solely, on our job titles. But when it comes to criticism, you have to understand that critical feedback is not a reflection of who you are.
We admit that there are instances when others find fault with your work just because of personal grudges. But for all other cases, not taking criticism personally will help you stay positive.
Take A Deep Breath
Let’s face it. You know it when you screw up. And subconsciously, you wait for that email or meeting where you’ll have to explain your actions. Most people tend to act defensively in this stressful situation, trying to rationalize what went wrong or assigning blame on others.
The trick is not to react. Take a deep breath and ignore the very first reaction that comes to your mind. This allows your brain to process the situation and put things in perspective. You don’t want to say or do anything in the heat of the moment that cannot be taken back.
Focus On The Words
This relates to the first point. Just like you need to separate yourself from your work, you also need to draw a wedge between the criticism and the person making the criticism. We know that it is hard to accept any sort of feedback from a peer or manager who you don’t respect. So try to focus on the words instead of who is speaking them.
Not reacting immediately to criticism doesn’t mean that stay in silent mode throughout the meeting! You need to show the other person that you are listening intently to what they are saying. You have to acknowledge the criticism and say something like ‘thank you,’ or ‘I really appreciate this feedback.’ Say this even if you want to punch the other person in the face!
Finally, a great way of handling criticism is to ask questions about what happened and what needs to be done. This will help you get more clarity and get to the heart of the issue. So, ask questions instead of engaging in a debate.
More often than not, the inability to handle criticism stems from a lack of self-confidence or poor communication skills. If you reside in San Diego, CA, we can help you communicate confidently in any situation. Click here to learn more about Professional Success South.