Monday, March 29, 2010

How to handle criticism...!!

Destructive criticism has become a regular part of our lives. This is a criticism that tears down rather than builds up the person it is targeted at. The more ‘public’ a person is, the more criticism he tends to face, simply by virtue of the fact that more people know him. These people can be writers, blogger, artists or people with ideas, even at office.

Almost always, someone else will have a different method of doing things, or a different opinion on a matter, just as we have our own methods and our own opinion. We all like to impose our methods, as we think that we have the best method and the best opinion on the matter. Our inherent pride only serves to increase the friction and spark division and conflict. This can easily lead to uncontrollable anger, a sense of injustice, insecurity from a lack of approval, or depression from being unappreciated. How to handle all this?

Be prepared for the unexpected

Yes, this is probably the first mental step. Whenever you start something new and you are upbeat about it, obviously you think for the best and think that everyone will like what you have accomplished. However as the saying goes, prepare for the worst. It doesn’t mean that you should be pessimistic, but you should have a frame of mind where you are ready to face all kinds of feedback.

Humbly learn what you can

There may be some truth behind what your critics say, despite their motivations. Be humble and be willing to listen and learn. The critics can be a means of grace by which we learn to be more godly, or wiser in some matter, or become more competent in some skill. So treasure them. In fact be highly suspicious if no one seems to be coming to you to point out our mistakes.

Reduce the passion

In the previous point I mentioned about being prepared for the negativity. Now, I know this is easier said than done because when we are in a positive frame of mind and cheerful about something new, we don’t usually want to think about the negative aspects. Hence the way to get in that frame of mind is to reduce the passion and be calm before you announce something new. That’s when if negative feedback pours in, although you will get upset, but you will handle it in a better manner without getting frustrated.

Face it as it comes and then analyze it

Now when negative feedback and criticism does start pouring in, there is nothing much you can do. Well, yes, you can always stop the comments, sign out of your IMs, mails, twitter, log out of your computer and then run away to your home. But does that solve the purpose? In fact if you do this, the next day you will face double the criticism and you may be titled as a coward who knows how to tickle the dragon but can’t face the fire.

So here the important thing is to face it as it comes and then analyze it. Check why you are getting negative feedback and what exactly people are disliking. You could also participate in the discussion and be candid and answer the questions. This can help you in two ways:

  • You get a lot of constructive feedback and a lot of support from your followers.
  • Those who criticized you bluntly may change their mind after participating in the discussion and may accept that they were actually wrong.

Hence instead of running away, you should face it in a brave manner.

Believe in yourself

Last but not the least, no matter what happens, its important to believe in yourself and in your work...!!

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