How to Handle Criticism: Three Things to Remember

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Anyone who is anyone has received some sort of constructive criticism or ‘feedback’ within their professional careers. That’s right, even the top CEO’s and millionaires out there today have to deal with some level of feedback from the people they work with. For many though, learning how to handle criticism without feeling some sort of negativity isn’t easy. That’s what we’re going to cover today, and hopefully you go away from this post finding something of value to you or for someone else.

1. It’s Business, Not Personal

To quote the Godfather- “it’s not personal Sonny, it’s strictly business.” This could be one of the hardest things to remember when people try and talk to you about your work. Some may argue and say business is personal, but at the end of the day everyone is there because they want the same thing: success. Whether that’s in the form of money, a promotion, or to just be good at their job.

You’ll save yourself a lot of stress by remembering that everyone is on the same team.

2. You Have Everything to Gain

When it comes to receiving feedback, you have to realize that even poorly given criticism is an opportunity for you to grow. You need to find the value in what you hear from others, because you are the one that chooses what you do with that feedback at the end of the day.

Finding value in the harshest of criticisms can be tough, but you need to look at the positives instead of focusing on what you may have done wrong. Think instead- okay, what could I have done differently? What can I personally do to make myself better at A,B, or C?

Remember when everyone was talking about how Millennials are the “participation trophy” generation? As so many have said before, when everyone gets a trophy- no one wins. The same logic can be put in place here. If everyone was told constantly that everything they did was right- who is hurting at the end of the day? You, or them?

This leads to my next point…

3. You Must Be Comfortable with Change

If you’re not constantly growing and learning, you are falling behind. It’s a scary thought, but it doesn’t need to be. You don’t need your head stuck in a book- you just need to get out there and talk to people. Who else is better to tell you where your opportunities lie other than the people you work with?

Don’t be embarrassed, scared, or hurt when your peers try to give you some of their insight. You should be actively searching for your peer’s feedback, because you want to evolve and climb higher. Otherwise, you’re just standing still.

Now go out there, and ask someone for feedback. In fact, ask two people. The more comfortable you are hearing it, the better.

Do you have any tips to share? Let me know!

If you are looking for more posts like this, check out my most recent post on How to Stay Positive.


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