Criticism is technically defined as an expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults and merits. It can also be defined as an analysis or judgment of someone’s work. Certainly, in our day-to-day life, we come across many critics and criticisms. The foundation of Criticism is laid when someone shows dissatisfaction to the work or the person. It can have many root causes and it can be of many types. It becomes very important to understand what’s behind the words. There are two types of criticism:
- Constructive Criticism: It is for those people who chase for excellence every time. It feels pleasure to hear, ” You are doing great”, but seeking for “What could I do better to improve myself”, keeps you updated and lets you know about your pros and cons. It answers this question and helps you to move to the next step.
- Projected Criticism: It is a negative reactive reaction or an emotional reaction to something you have done and which has bothered the mental peace of the person. Projected criticism is simply a projection of a person psyche. It’s the result of envy, anger or insecurity. It should always be ignored.
Ask for Criticism
Often while contemplating on my future moves, I analyze my behavior with people and reflect back on ways of how I could have behaved or how certain things could have been better. I seek feedback from the right people (Right people here is referred to as those who believe that despite all the flaws, I have the scope of improvement) which eventually help me update myself with updated flaws.
How successful people deal with Criticism?
- Ask clarifying questions: Successful people avoid getting into hostile confrontation instead they ask clarifying questions which help them get to the actual root cause. Get curious and ask as many questions as you can, this will help you learn about the criticism made by the person and will clarify the content and the context. Engage your critic and empower your own learning.
- Take a note: Being in present and listening with full concentration is a perfect recipe for success. Taking notes acts as the icing of the recipe. By taking notes, you will not only make the person feel that you are serious about it but it will also arm you with real-time reviews.
- Be Humble: Successful people remain humble and avoid being arrogant in making someone wrong just because they’re criticizing you. They realize that contrary to their personal beliefs, they are willing to grow and improve.
- Focus on Content, not the context: Successful people believe in listening actively. Travel your focus on what the content is and not with what context it is said.
- Ask for advice: Successful people always consider people’s advice. While taking advice from the critic, you give the critic a chance to see the scope of improvement in you.
- Take it like a pro: Succesful people are open and are willing to admit their flaws and shortcomings. If you feel that the truth has been said, acknowledge it and take necessary action as required.
The room is yours, you decide whether it is empty or full!
I recognized that constructive feedback is the only way to learn about our weaknesses. When you are defensive, arrogant or driven by your ego you miss ut a chance to improve yourself.