We all have been criticised in some points in our lives. And we all felt the same reaction: a strong feeling of disappointment or bitter surprise. Then we started with the defence: we tried to give a million reasons why what they were saying was not true. Often we go on with this explanation even when we are not with that person anymore: we ruminate on that criticism, explaining to ourselves why it is not true. That is exactly why we do not receive enough of those: because we have all had this feeling and we do not like to be on the other side. Better shut up. That’s a shame because this, among the list of bad habits, is one that brings us recurring disadvantages: i.e. disadvantages that come back to haunt us again and again. When we have ineffective behaviours or attitudes, we cannot see them with the same clarity of those observing them from outside. But, if we do not receive a feedback, we will never change. So we are stuck, and then we get surprised if “customers are leaving me” or “I am not appreciated at work”. Criticism hurts. But, if feedbacks are given, and taken, with mastery, they are extremely precious, because they can literally make us grow in leaps in terms of effectiveness.
So let’s train ourselves to receive criticism:
1. Ask for honest, constructive criticism from a person we trust.
2. Choose a topic that, we know very well, is one of our improvement areas.
3. When we receive the feedback, instead of defending yourself, get the habit to ask questions:
a. What do I do, exactly, that you think is not effective?
b. What should I do instead?
c. What parts of my behaviour are effective?
d. What are the results of this behaviour, from your point of view?
4. Learn the lesson and put it into practice. 10 of these feedbacks every year, for 10 key competencies, would make our personal and relationship effectiveness skyrocket.
Come on, let others criticize you!