Responding to Constructive Criticism

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We had a great response to our post last week about going heavy on the carbs when offering up a serving of “Constructive Criticism”.  We thought this week; it would be good to talk about how we respond to the advice.

First of all, we need to determine if the criticism being offered is “constructive” and is in our best interest, helping us to grow; or if it’s just “criticism” that someone is hurling our way because they’re having a bad day.  If you can easily identify it as the latter, let it roll and move on, knowing that it really wasn’t directed at you.  We’ve all heard of the finger pointing, where one finger is pointing at someone else, but the other four fingers are pointing back to the owner of the hand?

If it is truly “constructive”, then we might need to take a deep breath and step back.

I think for most of us (me included) our immediate response is one of defense.  If we start by stepping back, it helps to lower our defense and open ourselves to the possibility of growth, doing better, and overall improvement.  If the constructive criticism is offered via email, it’s easy to step back and come back to the email after we’ve had time to think through the comments instead of shooting back a response that we will forever be regretting.  If the constructive criticism is offered verbally, we can still “step back”, by offering a “thank you” first; knowing that for the most part, it takes someone who thinks highly enough of us to muster up the courage to offer the advice, and we can remind ourselves this is as an opportunity to grow.

If we also remind ourselves, that Constructive Criticism has an opportunity to open our eyes to something new; the next time someone “challenges” us with this process, we can dig deep and think through the topic, which will inevitably add value by making us (or the situation) better, and helping us to again be “thankful” for the comments.

What are your tricks for accepting Constructive Criticism?  We would love to know! Please share your comments below…


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