How To Be A Person Who Can Handle Criticism
Insights From 'Be A People Person' by John C. Maxwell
Part of a leader's job is providing feedback to others; however, receiving feedback from others can be hard to hear.
In Be A People Person, Maxwell wastes no time calling out that a leader's ability to receive criticism can make or break them, and he shares ten tips to help an individual better receive criticism from others.
The first is understanding that criticism can be constructive or destructive.
To determine the difference, consider the motive of the individual, when the feedback is provided, and why it was given?
The second is understanding that we aren't perfect people and will mess up from time to time.
He advises that we learn to laugh at ourselves if we err to avoid becoming inwardly angry or resentful.
The third is to consider the feedback provider as well as the feedback.
For example, ask yourself if the feedback provider is someone you respect?
Is the individual a positive-minded person?
Is the person a chronic complainer or do they always find fault in others?
Considering it from this perspective helps you determine the level of value you place on the feedback you receive from that individual.
The fourth is being mindful of your actions toward the person providing you constructive criticism.
If your reaction is negative, it could cause more damage than the actual feedback you received.
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Now, the fifth is recognizing that even the best of people gets criticized. He uses Jesus as an example of a person who did good but received constant criticism from others.
The sixth is building spiritual and physical health.
This means taking care of ourselves, so we aren't vulnerable when receiving criticism due to a lack of rest or exhaustion.
The seventh is not just looking at the critic but considering if the criticism is a trend.
If you're hearing the same kind of feedback from various people, it's something you need to work on.
The eighth is letting time prove your position.
Now, this might seem counterproductive to receiving feedback, but if you received criticism for a decision, you made or an action you took that you believed was right, time will eventually prove if your decision or action was best.
The ninth is surrounding yourself with encouraging people. Spending time with people who build you up-- it makes it easier to digest negative criticism.
This helps you sustain a positive attitude; it keeps you from acting defensively, and it could have a positive effect on people who are typically critical towards others.
Finally, the last is staying focused on your purpose and learn from your mistakes.
This mindset helps you concentrate on your mission, not your mistakes and provides you the energy needed to achieve your goals.
Following these tips will make you much more effective at receiving feedback and help you grow and develop more quickly by doing so.