Tag Archives: criticism

It’s Normal to Face Criticism When You are Driven

Driven and criticismThe Greek philosopher Aristotle is famously known for saying, “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” No matter where you want to go in your career, there will be others who will, rationally or irrationally, try to talk you out of it. Criticism is inevitable if you want to be successful.

Think of some of the greatest figures in history: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Confucius, and Christopher Columbus. They all influenced and shaped the world today, but they also received, and sometimes still do, some of the most harsh and intense criticism. Don’t let outside forces get in your way. Here are ways to cope with and accept the fact that criticism will happen when you strive for success.

Tune Out
Unless there is something you can take away from constructive criticism, you’ll have to tune out the clutter of negativity coming at you. It’s important to stay focused on your goals and objectives, so you’ll have to learn the value in tuning out everyone around you some of the time.

Depending on how strict or involved you want to be with your schedule, take some time every week or at the end of your workday to review your progress and see where you are with achieving your goals and objectives. You’re far more likely to accomplish things if they are in print and in front of you. Continually checking your progress will keep you on track and help build your drive and motivation.

There are several benefits to embracing a positive attitude, even if you don’t feel like it. There will be very real hurdles and challenges to overcome throughout your career and a positive attitude won’t protect you from them, but it will keep you afloat and motivated when they happen.

You don’t have to climb the corporate ladder alone. While there may be others who will try to tear you down, there are just as many, if not more, who want to lift you up. That’s why it’s important to have a group of friends and mentors who can give you fair and constructive feedback on your endeavors.

Nobody is perfect and everybody will make mistakes throughout their career. That is why it’s important to accept responsibility for your mistakes and weaknesses and develop strategies to improve them. It’s not so much the fact you fell, but rather about how you get back up.

To stay on track to realize success, you need to have an idea of what you want to achieve. It’s important to be very clear and concise about why success is so important. When you have an end point to focus on, it’ll be harder for others to lead you astray.

If you feel like the weight of others is too much, remember that it’s normal and to shrug it off. Many times, the criticism is unnecessary. It’s like what the late motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “Some people find fault like there is a reward for it.”

Dealing with Criticism at Work

Dealing With CriticismIt’s inevitable. No matter what you say or do, someone will disagree with you and give you criticism. If you want to grow your responsibilities, develop your skills, and be ready for management, you are going to face criticism. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once said, “If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.”

Facing criticism can impact not only your work life, but also your everyday life. It can add stress to your increasing workflow, distract you from your important duties, and bleed into your thoughts after work – if you let it. If you don’t handle criticism effectively, it can potentially derail your career.

While you can’t prevent criticism, you can control your reaction so a possible negative situation can be turned into a positive one. Not all criticism is bad and it isn’t always personal. It’s a chance for someone to provide feedback that’s valuable to your career goals. Here is a simple process to handle criticism and improve your career.

Don’t Get Defensive
Whenever we are criticized, generally our first reaction is to shoot down any opposition. It’s easy to take personally and can make you feel like you’ve been put in a corner. Before you quickly rise to defend yourself, give your managers or co-workers the opportunity to express their opinion. They have different perspectives and can see things you don’t. They might have a reasonable point that could get lost if you’re too busy trying to defend yourself.

Pull away from the situation. Treat it like you were observing someone else’s life. This will help you determine whether you are being overly sensitive or if whoever is criticizing you is just being hateful. Being open to the feedback will help you stay cool, calm, and collected. The calmer you are, the more rational you will be, which will help you make better decisions.

Search Your Feelings. You Know Them to be True
Stress and pressure can build when you don’t acknowledge what’s bothering you. Your feelings are a key part of your work performance. By ignoring feelings, you create a larger problem to deal with later. By accepting and then expressing them, you’ll be able to deal more effectively with issues from the start. When you understand how you feel, you can work with your supervisors and co-workers to communicate feedback in a way that is more acceptable and clear to avoid hurting feelings.

Rather than hiding emotions, notice them as they arise without judging yourself or blaming others for making you upset. Find out what your feelings are saying. What are the feelings asking you to do? What new choices can you make to help yourself feel at peace about the criticism? Getting to the bottom of your emotions can help you know the best ways you receive information and feedback and how you can better communicate it.

There’s a Nugget of Gold in There Somewhere
One of the simplest ways prospectors extracted gold during the 19th century was by panning for the valued metal. It was a cheap and easy process dating back to ancient Rome where gravel is scooped into a pan, gently agitated in water, and then the gold sinks to the bottom of the pan. Just as a gold prospector would have to sift through a large number of minerals to find the pieces of gold, you should sift through all criticism of you or your work and determine which ones are worth implementing.

Even if the feedback was conveyed in a less than nice manner, there could be some truth to what is being said to you. You don’t have to be the only deciding factor. If criticism is given from a co-worker, take the feedback to your boss, a mentor, or industry peers to see if it’s valid. You don’t have to make changes from all criticism, but always work to understand them and determine which ones could actually help you.

Get Out There and Grow
Now that you know what feedback is useful, it’s time to implement it. If you’re unsure, discuss it with the person who criticized you to see how you can best apply their ideas. It can build a stronger working relationship when you are showing effort to change your ways and asking for feedback to make those changes. If criticism is coming from your boss, it’s a great opportunity to display your maturity by working to change negative feedback instead of blowing it out of proportion. This way your manager will be more trusting of you and will be more open to giving you honest quality feedback, which will make you a better employee.

Don’t think of criticism as an attack. While you may have to deal with difficult co-workers, most of the time, feedback is meant to be constructive. It’s up to you as to which criticism is useful and which to ignore. If you really can’t handle criticism and really want to avoid it at all costs, you can follow the Greek philosopher Aristotle’s advice, “To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”