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The Positive Take Of Criticism

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How do you take criticism? Take a brief look at something you do that could cause someone to criticize you. Maybe you make mistakes. Mess-ups, miscalculation, failed ideas and just plain “I blew its!” are bound to happen. But, like anger, it’s the way you respond to the mistakes that makes the difference.

It is important to remember to take responsibility for your failures as well as your successes. Look at the mistakes and failures as necessary and valuable life lessons. Don’t let your response to them (and the resultant criticism) sabotage the rest of your life.

Realize that successful people actually make more mistakes than unsuccessful people do. What that means is they keep trying far longer than unsuccessful people who quit or give up after a few failures. They know that a spectacular success will justify all the failures along the way. How many tries do you think it took Thomas Edison to get the light bulb or the phonograph to work?

Don’t let mistakes weigh you down. You may go through periods where you make more mistakes than at other times – the greater the stress of the situation, the greater the chance of making mistakes. Remember to be patient with yourself, learn from the difficulties and move on.

Here comes the boss or a co-worker anxious to share a few “suggestions” about what you did and how it could be handled better in the future! How do you take criticism?

1. Be willing to learn. You can take an active stance. Ask others how you can improve. Be open to what they say. If you realize that criticism is a way to help you measure your performance and improve upon it, you’ll welcome it.

2. Listen and learn. Even if you have not sought the correction, turn off the tendency to respond defensively. Truly listen to the criticism. If it is productive, try to respond positively in return.Don’t put yourself down. Be kind to yourself.

3. Don’t decide that you have totally botched the project because someone has pointed out a way it could be improved for future presentations. You are not a total failure at work because one suggestion has been made on how you can work more effectively in the future.

4. Ask for more. Once you are comfortable with receiving criticism, express gratitude for the help. Ask for more suggestions.


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