Receiving Criticism: Tip #2

21 Nov

Don’t personalize the criticism:

Confidence better enables us to handle criticism because we are not easily threatened. We are able to listen to the criticism without taking it personally and we can more accurately evaluate what is being said. Let’s take a look at the following perspectives that will help you avoid personalizing criticism:

  •   Look at criticism as information. Remember you are the one who colors what’s being said.
  • Identify what you need to do differently. To avoid personalizing criticism, get past what’s being said and how it’s being communicated and focus in on the desired behavior.  Ask for the information you need to achieve the desired behavior, and remember that the information comes from the giver’s perspective, not your own.  Having enough specific information will give you a greater sense of control and the confidence needed to take the corrective action desired and positively move forward.
  • Examine your perspective as the receiver. Whenever you receive criticism, keep in mind that your confidence will play a big part in whether or not you personalize that criticism.  If your boss has just criticized you for several mistakes you have made, and your customer is suddenly upset with you about a couple things, and your mate or loved one starts to criticize you, your confidence may wobble because so many things are happening at once. You are more vulnerable.  This temporary loss of confidence may result in your being more susceptible to personalizing the criticism.
  • Look at the big picture perspective.  Use Bright’s 2-M Simultaneous Focus Quick Charge to put things into perspective and to regain your confidence.  Bright’s 2-M Simultaneous Focus Quick Charge is practiced in the following way:  The first “M” refers to the Macro perspective, the other “m” is the micro or more specific perspective.  Today, it’s not enough to have the big picture focus, or the macro, nor is it effec­tive to operate always in the micro. You need to be able to operate in the micro and the macro simultaneously.  So you want to focus your lens to clearly see both perspectives at the same time. For example, when being criticized, you are in the “micro”- zoom out to the “macro” to recognize that at least that person took the time to say something to you.
  • Remember to inspect the criticism.  Keep in mind that when you are receiving praise, it is very much like criticism.  Both are forms of information that you should develop habits of inspecting. Because we’re creatures of habit, if you take praise “hook, line and sinker,” without inspecting it, chances are that you will take criticism the same way.  Remember to inspect!
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