Handling Criticism - "Do's" and "Don'ts"

Handling Criticism - "Do's" and "Don'ts" -  Steve Wickham

We all struggle with criticism. It's plain hurtful to hear someone tell us where we're going wrong, where we must improve, or where they'd like to see us change. It happens in workplaces, in homes, in schools, in every sphere of life: criticism everywhere. How do we deal with it in a positive manner?
If there is one thing we could all do with is learning how to cope better with criticism. This is what a doctor of psychology said at a recent workshop I facilitated. She went on to say that most if not all relationship and life problems emanate from poor communication. Here is a list of ideas to assist you in dealing with criticism:
1. All criticism has at least a hint of truth, so listen with open ears and an open heart. You might learn something about yourself that others see but you don't.
2. Respect the person delivering the criticism as it inevitably requires courage to give this feedback (provided they're not being spiteful). Thank them for taking the risk -- it's risky business being the bearer of bad news.
3. Think in terms of what you can learn, about yourself of course, but also about other people and their reactions to you. You can also learn more about the person delivering the criticism i.e. what did they do well in their negative feedback (pick things you can emulate), and what did they do poorly (which you would want to avoid doing).
4. Don't get hung up emotionally. Try and remain objective. Try and see the issue from a third party viewpoint. You will have time to reflect on this feedback, and that too is not a time to become too negatively emotional. Don't develop a grudge; grudges help no-one, least of all you! (This applies 100% of the time from my experience.)
5. Set yourself a goal of being open to all feedback. Make it your policy. In the early days it will be hard to apply but if you don't give up you'll eventually begin to thrive on all feedback, be it negative or positive.
When you do accept criticism well and just try your best to respond in the way you're requested to, you'll actually find yourself in the path of praise and positive feedback -- there are not many people who are good at this you see. You'll stand out in a positive way. Most people would prefer to whinge and complain about their treatment... and where does this get them? (Refer to my comment earlier; grudges help no-one.)
Your highest goal should be to relate well. A big part of this is dealing effectively and coping well with criticism. It takes maturity and maturity is only developed with practise. Stay positive and you can grow and blossom in ways that you would not believe. Imagine not ever needing to hold a grudge. Imagine genuinely respecting everyone you meet and relate with. Imagine being strong enough not to be the slightest bit crushed by a harsh word.
Being good at coping with criticism can be all yours. Set yourself a goal to be a good receiver of criticism. Learn to cope well. The world will be your oyster.

Copyright © 2008, Steven John Wickham.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide.Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified lay Christian minister (GradDipDiv). His passion in vocation is facilitation and coaching; encouraging people to soar to a higher value of their potential. Steve's key passion is work / life balance and re-creating value for living and an exploration of the person within us, and especially the breaking of gener ational curses.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Wickham  Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1218422

Find us on Facebook: