Goal Setting – How to Handle Constructive Criticism

There will be many times in your life when you get criticism; sometimes constructive, and let’s face it, sometimes not. How you deal with this criticism is vital to your future success.

For most people the first reaction that they will have for criticism, is a knee jerk reaction where they feel hurt, and in need of defending their actions and offering a countercritisim. This is often not the best response as criticism gives us the opportunity to learn more about our actions, and also to grow more.

This article explores accepting criticism for what it is worth. Now before we go into the details, we would like to clarify that we are not asking you to roll over and accept all criticism; what we are suggesting, is that sometimes the criticism may be true and that the criticism, however badly delivered, could be a good learning experience. So here goes…lets look at how you can use criticism for good.

Next time, you are giving criticism, take a deep breath, say thank you for pointing that out to me. Have a quick think, to see if the criticism is accurate. If it is accept it and say…you are right (etc). If you don’t think it is accurate. Simply, say…I will take that on board. You will quickly learn that this will make you feel a lot happier, and if the other person is saying criticism for malice, they will soon lose interest.

An example could be as follows:

You are driving with your wife next to you, when she makes a comment on how close you are driving to other cars. Your first reaction was a knee jerk one, and you automatically take offence to the comment and get defensive. However, you take a few seconds to calm down. You have a quick think about it, and realise that there was merit in her words. ‘Your right…I do sometimes drive to close to other cars…thank you for pointing it out to me, I shall try and drive safer’. Is the reply you give. Your wife felt acknowledged, and you started driving safer. Win-Win.

Of course the above is a very simplistic example, but it does show how the process works. Criticism offers a lot of opportunities and allows us to grow. Without it, we can become quite stagnant. So next time someone is offering criticism consider it, and if you think it has merit take it on board.