How to Better Deal with Criticism

4 Oct

If there is one skill that you have in your arsenal for dealing with people both professionally and personally it should definitely be an ability to handle criticism with grace.

It’s human nature to get irritate, angry, mad, or even furious if someone is critical of you, albeit constructive or otherwise. We naturally think the way we do things is the best way, and when someone tells us we aren’t the best, well…it makes us mad.

The best way to handle criticism is to first calm yourself. By realizing you have become angry, you can better calm yourself down in order to think about the criticism itself – not that someone criticized you. Once you are calm, you should take a moment to understand that no one is perfect, and that this could be an opportunity to improve yourself.

Once you are calm, think about what the criticism was about. Did the other person have a point? Was it something you could actually improve? The likely answer to both of those questions is yes. If this is the case, it will ease both parties if you thank them for their criticism. They could have not said anything and seethed privately and you wouldn’t have had any opportunity to improve. Once you thank them and tell them they had a point, you might choose to elaborate on why you chose to do something the way you did, but be careful to not be defensive. If you think you will sound defensive, then it might be better to not say anything at all. Remember: stay calm and don’t be angry or respond in anger.

Once you have acknowledge the criticism at hand, make improvements. The person dealing out the criticism likely had a reason. But don’t dwell on the criticism…let it go. It’s more than likely that the other person didn’t mean any harm.

What do you do to handle criticism gracefully? I always try to, but often I fail and internalize it – any suggestions? 

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: