For Your Best Development, Don’t Just Take Any Criticism You May Get To Heart
As you enter the workforce or proceed in your personal life you’ll realize, similar to how you have seen throughout your educational career or life to-date, everyone is full of opinions.
Opinions can take various forms such as thoughts, considerations, commentaries, suggestions, recommendations, etc.
With regard to certain opinions, a lesson most of us have learned, which echoes and continues to ring true as we evolve and grow, is that negativity needs to be avoided in life. Such is the negativity that exists in meaningless criticism where the critic fires repetitively at the recipient of the criticism, trying to see what will hit the right nerve, whether intentionally or subconsciously. Be aware of it and acknowledge it in order to defend against it and avoid letting it derail your plans, but don’t give in to the negativity and react to it in a manner which would lead you to derail your own credibility.
These negative viewpoints might be intermixed in an overall productive and growth-conducive environment. So some you encounter in your career may have opinions in the form of constructive thought, consideration, and the other forms listed above, but pay attention to the overly negative stances of others, whether it is in explicit, blatant form or of an implicit and underlying nature.
Constructive opinions can and should be provided about your work, and they are credible as long as they are presented in a matter that makes it known that there is a true deficiency that exists or improvement needed in your work. But unfounded criticisms based in possible egotism, jealousy, or ignorance are another variety of commentary that should not be easily welcomed, accepted, or given into.
The world is full of such criticism that does nothing. It provides no positive reinforcement. It achieves no real goal. It creates no desired value.
As we look at the world today, it’s easy to see the myriad opinions that exist across infinite discussions, conversations, industries, etc. Many of those are examples of these mentioned criticisms which achieve nothing but loss of time.
So delineate between constructive commentary of your work and your persona, and the negativity some people feel the need to bestow upon others. The reasoning for an unfounded critical demeanor differs from person to person. Your job is to be aware of who those players are and become aware of the intentions in their message.
As long as you are prepared and diligent in whatever goal you may have, simple criticism by another should not deter you from moving forward.
Regardless of the foundation and basis of their approach to you, consider what it is that you are contributing to your immediate culture and environment while weighing it against what they are (not) contributing. Who is adding more value?
Some of us may have been paralyzed by criticism in our experiences by that force that questions our intentions or actions, such as when we are afraid to fail. We might pause in fear due to a perception of what others will think or what the result will be but in the end what does that get us?
The credibility of those who criticize should be much lower than those who seek to guide, assist, and build you up to your true capability.
If you are working to present the best product, service, or self you can, if unfounded criticism rears its ugly head, consider which approach–yours or that of the critic–is working toward the benefit of your mission, yourself, the organization, or cause.
So…What About You?
- How have you dealt with criticism to date, in both your work life and personal life? What were the results?
- Have you ever found yourself criticizing someone in this fashion? How would you change that approach?
- Of examples that you might have witnessed of criticisms. How were they handled by all the stakeholder parties?