5 Tips for Handling Constructive Criticism

5 tips for handling constructive criticism

Nobody likes criticism.

I can tell you — for a fact — that there is probably nobody who struggles with criticism more than I do. In fact, if you were to ask any of my former employers, they would probably say that “being defensive” was the one quality they struggled with the most about me. So, check out these five tips for handling constructive criticism.

I used to have a severe problem with acting like a victim.

I always felt like I was being “attacked” for something. From the biggest to the smallest of things, I did not like to take ownership of my part or be told how I should have handled things.

I used to become incredibly defensive and angry at anybody who would give me the slightest bit of constructive feedback because I always felt it was unnecessary.

I’ve grown to learn that criticism is a necessity.

Even though we each will receive less than desirable feedback in our lives, there is no need to feel threatened, defensive, or ashamed. It’s all part of breaking away from our comfort zone.

You may have your criticism triggers. I still struggle with mine; the question, “Why do you do it that way?”

To which my usual response is something like:

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5 Tips for Handling Constructive Criticism

  1. Avoid being defensive whenever possible. I’ve learned to choose not to be defensive when I receive criticism works best for me. I used to get super defensive whenever I felt criticised. And the only thing I ever accomplished by becoming defensive was to prove I was incapable of respecting other people’s observations. We cannot grow from staying inside a bubble. So, if somebody bursts yours, try and keep calm and hear them out.
  2. Avoid being quick to react. Being reactive is similar to being defensive, but the difference is that when we respond quickly, we don’t give ourselves time to process the situation correctly. My father used to tell me all the time that I was a “highly reactive” individual. As soon as I heard something I disagreed with, I would react and typically regret doing so. Now, I try to step back from the situation, breath and think about how I will handle it. I may choose to confront or concede, but I will have allowed myself to have a choice.
  3. Assume the responsibility when it’s your fault. When I’m the root of the problem, I owe myself, and everybody involved to accept responsibility. Nobody likes the blame game (especially when you’re the one to blame), but it’s a necessary evil sometimes. Assuming responsibility for your mistake shows that you are big enough to accept and learn from a situation.
  4. Take it as an opportunity to gain some insight. On every occasion, something positive comes out of it and to be at the forefront of criticism is a chance to gain some valuable insight. For example, after you receive criticism is a perfect time to ask questions about how you can better handle the situation in the future.
  5. Stop taking criticisms as a personal attack. When objections occur, we often internalise them as an attack on who we are, not what we’ve done. You will likely never be able to please everyone.   Just because someone questions your work doesn’t mean they are criticising who you are. We could all produce work that disappoints, but that doesn’t mean we are disappointing.

Learning how to handle criticism constructively is something we all should master.

We can choose to see critiques as an opportunity to learn something new about ourselves.

Do you struggle with receiving feedback? Check out my post: 5 tips for handling constructive criticism. #personaldevelopment #criticism #growthmindset Click To Tweet

As with any behaviour, it’s a choice.

How do you react to criticism when it’s headed your way?



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