How to deal with all kinds of criticism
In Business, no one wins without suffering a few losses along the way. The most successful businessman know this in their heart, and know how they can learn from their mistakes when they happen. Behind every great book, invention, or decision is a big dark hall of failed attempts.
Often enough, you don’t hear about a bad decision until after the fact. And if you’re particularly bad at taking criticism, you won’t hear it until those who want you out have enough ammo to actually get you out. The shwerdest know when to listen. They know that it’s the bad points that are worth listening to, not the good that most of us want to hear so much.
Well, time to quit patting yourself on the back and keep your ears open. Here are some tips on how the best handle good and bad criticism.
Like we said, there are two kinds of criticism: the kind that hurts (destructive criticism) and the kind that helps (constructive criticism).
We can’t help but feel a bit uncomfortable about criticism. That came from our childhood when we’d get criticized all the time without knowing why. Back then, destructive or constructive criticism plain sucked either way. Here’s how you can use them both to your advantage.
First. Lets deal with constructive criticism. If you’re lucky enough to be under a good boss, you know that even if you’ve made a mistake, your boss still seems to be able to commend you on the effort you put in as well as what you could’ve done better.
“I’ve just finished reading your report, I know you’ve put a lot of hours into it and it shows. But, I seem to be having trouble sifting through all the information; maybe you can help make understandable by adding some charts and making the summary more concise. The content’s definitely bulletproof, but I’d really appreciate it if you could add those things I asked for.”
In this case, there’s really no reason to take it badly because your boss acknowledge your efforts and told you exactly what he wants done. Here, the boss understands where you’re coming from he’s helping you understand where he’s coming from.
You can take even more advantage of this blessed situation by asking all the questions you need to ask so you really understand what your boss wants from you. But don’t overdo it. You don’t want him or her to think you’re an idiot.
Destructive criticism is different all together. We know you’ve heard it all before but here’s an example anyway: “I’ve some stupid things in my life but this takes the cake. The ones who recommend you so highly were obviously thinking of someone else.”
Before you get your boxers in a bunch, you should consider why your boss seems so pissed off in the first place. Maybe that’s his idea of motivation. Maybe he just got his ass chewed off by his boss for approving your work. Either way, the idea is to try to understand where the angst is coming from.
Fighting fire with fire with a boss who has no clue about people skills is definitely the way to go… if you want to make like superman and gets your ass fired faster than a speeding bullet. Don’t bother trying to make him acknowledge the work you put in. Instead, try to get past your bruised ego and ask him what you did wrong and how you can do it better.
The trick is to try to get something positive out of it. If your boss tells you what was wrong and what he would’ve liked, you should take it as a good omen (in spite of all the harsh comments) and discuss the things you want to point out, That’ll ensure that you’re on the same page.
Be sure to keep your composure and just stick to the job at hand. Discussions won’t work with two hotheads. Remember, it’s all about the job, so be sure and check with your boss from time to time so you both don’t get your asses chewed off again. If your boss still screaming little more than bloody murder after you’ve asked what you did wrong and how you can do it better—just ignore him. Maybe he’s got that thing called male menopause or some such. The best thing for you to do is ask whoever has had the unfortunate experience of being under him about what your boss wants.
The main thing to remember—if you make it a habit to try and see something positive out of the worst situations, you could be on your way to the list of great successes.
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