How to confidently react to criticism
Peace and serenity help
All of us have been criticized at one point or another, be it privately or in a professional environment. The American writer Elbert Hubbard hit the nail on the head when he wrote: "How to avoid criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, be nothing." Receiving criticism is inevitable and for certain. It’s your choice, however, how you deal with and view criticism. For criticism is basically nothing more than an opinion or feedback on you, your behaviour, and your statements.
The effect of criticism
Criticism can have positive and negative effects. It can damage you, frustrate you, and demotivate you. It can thereby lead to a standstill, a failure, or create problems. But it can also motivate you and be a real stimulus. When latter is the case, it can contribute to a personal development, may trigger a change in thinking, and can lead to success or solving a problem. What criticism does for you and whether and how you personally use it, is up to you alone. Here are a few tips on how to confidently react to criticism.
Stay calm and listen
Are a few words enough to make you lose your temper? Then you've already lost. Let your critic finish. Afterwards, react calmly and inquire in how exactly something was meant. This will buy you time.
Do not justify yourself
When you start to explain your behaviour or a previous statement of yours to gain your critics sympathy, your critic might take this as an admission of guilt.
Accept justified criticism
Listen to your inner voice. If you feel that your critic might be right in only some points, agree with him. But make sure that this agreement only refers to the criticisms you accept as correct.
Clarify your position
If you've intensively listened to your inner voice and still find the criticism unjustified or unconstructive, explain your reasons objectively and calmly.
Ask about the expectations of your critic
Criticism rarely comes out of nowhere. Those who criticize have expectations. Some want you to withdraw or reformulate a statement. Others want you to change a behaviour or circumstance. If you're unsure with which expectations the criticism was expressed, inquire about which actions they want you to take.
Take time to think
You should neither immediately refuse nor immediately promise to fulfil the expectations. Tell your critic that you will take the time to think about his points and return to them later.
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