Everyone’s a Critic

Constructive-CriticismCriticism is a difficult tool. In the right hands, it can fix, improve and perfect. But it’s all in how you take your tea, so to speak. Not everyone is going to sugar coat it and oftentimes it’ll just be given to you straight. It’s understandable that these things can make you feel a bitĀ bitter, but criticism is meant for you to use so that you can be better. It’s meant to be considered and applied but not destructive. You should be proud of the work you accomplish but open to the possibility of imperfection. Everything in moderation *sips tea*.

Having been both the giver and receiver of harsh criticism, it’s safe to say that whichever way it comes back around can be uncomfortable and unfortunate. Although, without a little critiquing here and there (and swallowing some back some pride) I would be far worse off.

Here’s what me, Forbes and few other people have to say about taking criticism with grace:

  • Pause. Stop and take a secondĀ process. Don’t act on your first reaction
  • Silently repeat: “This is good for you”. This is your mantra. Even if you don’t believe it.
  • Listen. Register this information. Someone is taking you aside to comment on something to be improved upon. Treat it like any other work task and embrace the ability to do better.
  • Don’t be mute. Ask questions. Ask for specifics. Ask for clarifications to understand.

And on giving:

  • Choose your words wisely. Get those fantastic adjectives working. Think about how someone achieves, excels and possesses qualities.
  • Think about this outline (courtesy of Forbes): Communication skills, Job expertise, Attitude, Creative thinking, Self-development
  • Formulate it ahead of time and have something specific to comment on in a structured way.
  • Remember to be sensitive, so that you’re not condescending. But also sensitive to their needs and performance overall, in that, it really is good to give good criticism.
  • Be ready for every reaction but don’t believe that you’re wrong in addressing a problem.

Most importantly: Don’t take it too personally and remember that as long as you commit and work hard you’re going good places



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