Most people don’t accept criticism well, which is a shame, since it is only through learning how to control our negative features that our best features can shine. Certainly we all like flattery, and positive feedback, but being able to listen to and learn from critique is crucial to career and personal advancement.
Next time someone tells you something you don’t like, I suggest you:
- Take a breath, let it out slowly, and remind yourself that this is an opportunity for you to learn. This defeats your automatic fight or flight response, and allows intelligent response.
- Thank them for the feedback. This doesn’t mean you accept their feedback, or will make any changes because of it, but does acknowledges their overcoming social pressure and attempting to help you improve.
- Listen, and ask questions to understand what they mean by what they say.
If you intend to continue to learn and grow, you must learn to accept both good and bad feedback, and learn to grow from the experience. Those who are unable to do so, will find themselves limited in their career opportunities. This concept applies on both sides of the employee-manager relationship, but while not everyone has employees, everyone has a boss – making this side of the equation universally applicable. You don’t need to make changes based on what you learn, but being open to hear all forms of feedback will help you expand your self knowledge and continue to become better and better at what you do.