Friday, November 11, 2011

Rise Above Criticism

There is a saying ‘If you want to avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing and be nothing’. As long as we live we cannot avoid criticism. Every day we are sure to encounter some sort of criticism. It is how we take criticism that matters. It is very important to be able to differentiate between useless and useful criticism. The feedback which needs attention is the one which is clear and logical. Baseless feedback is vague and it makes no sense,

Criticism is basically someone’s personal point of view. Everyone looks at ‘reality’ through a filter based on what they’ve learned. Whether we agree with that person’s criticism or not, we should understand that the person is only providing his opinion. When people first receive feedback, they have a tendency to deny it. Please avoid immediate defensiveness - arguing, denying and justifying. There may be a grain of truth in it. Usually we tend to shift the meaning behind what the other person is trying to convey. Then we proceed to attribute some intentions to the criticism.

When you are criticized by someone, before you get angry at them, take the time to reflect on what was said. Maybe there is something that you can learn from that criticism. It may be intended to help you to improve yourself.

Give the person who is criticizing you a chance to state their case. Hear the person out. No one is perfect and one of the ways we sometimes learn is by making a mistake. See if what the person tells you makes any sense. Moreover learn to take it as a criticism of your actions, not your person. If you do that, you can detach yourself from the criticism emotionally and see what should be done.

It is true that there are some people out there who take pleasure in bringing people down. Sometimes people may criticize you for no reason at all. They may constantly criticize you, but they seldom or never give positive feedbacks. If you realize that the criticism is merely a personal attack, try not to argue. Nothing ever gets solved with arguments. If someone is truly making a personal attack on you, most likely their mind is already made up and if you try to argue you will just be adding fuel to the fire. When all has been said, thank the person for sharing their thoughts whether you agree with their assessment or not. By being calm and collected you can show your maturity. If you learn to deal with criticism in matured manner and use it for correction and improvement, you’ll rise above criticism. And it will bother you no longer.

As a rule of this world, you cannot please everyone and you cannot make everyone like your work. Every opinion is valid, nobody’s right and it’s okay for people to disagree with you. Not everyone can see things from your point of view, so disagreements are supposed to be a part of your life. Remember, people are criticizing your actions, not your personality – so do not take it personally. Keep you attitude positive and respond calmly.

Since criticism will always be a part of whatever you do, learn to handle it and learn to handle it exceptionally well. Getting emotional on every comment is going to take you nowhere. Always accept healthy criticism and consider it a way to improve and grow. After all, you can learn a lot from people’s point of view.

There is a purpose of everything in this world. Let criticism serve its purpose by handling it well and by acting on someone else’s opinion. You cannot ignore people’s opinion when you are working for them. Criticism will help you in identifying your weak points and strong points. Remember, you are not always right and someone else can have better suggestions. Practice makes a man perfect, so work on suggestions and improve yourself.


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