Magazine article Work & Family Life

'People Are Saying I Can't Take Criticism.'

Magazine article Work & Family Life

'People Are Saying I Can't Take Criticism.'

Article excerpt

Q People at work have told me that I can't take criticism and maybe it's true. I do get upset and defensive, especially when I feel like the criticism is not warranted. Any thoughts to help me get past this?

-SP, Easton, PA

A No one enjoys being criticized but we need to hear it sometimes and learn how to deal with it. And even if the criticism is not entirely valid, it's still a real perception that someone has of you. Here are some suggestions:

* LISTEN carefully to the criticism without interrupting. If it helps, think of it as a "gift" you don't like and didn't want, but that somebody thought enough of you to give it to you. Stay calm. You might even say, "Thank you for bringing this to my attention."

* REPEAT what was said in a neutral tone of voice to make sure you heard it correctly. This shows that you are open to feedback and helps put some distance between the criticism and who you are as a person.

* WEIGH the criticism. Was it valid? Constructive? Ask yourself: Have I heard this before? Do other people see me this way too? How does this affect my work? What do I need to do about it?

* RESPOND. But not in the heat of the moment. Wait until you know what you want to say. …

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