enter the critic

“But instead of spending our lives running towards our dreams, we are often running away from a fear of failure or a fear of criticism.”
― Eric Wright
The Happiness Project (2009)

Here’s a post by Gretchen Rubin on criticism.    What lessons can you learn?

It’s easy to talk first and listen later.  The price is often much higher when we listen after the fact.    How often are you forming a response to what someone is saying and missing the essence of what they have said?   We spend so much time thinking  about what to respond with that  we fail to hear their words.

What happens when someone critiques you?   Do you immediately go on the defensive?  Do you shutdown and stop listening?   Do you start preparing a message to defend your position?   Most people do just that, they are not listening they are preparing a defense and missing out on the importance of the information being shared.    Next time try a different approach and listen to what is being said.   Understand the real issue.   Is there something you can learn?  Is the information useful to you?

It is easier to respond when someone is criticizing you than it is to step back for a few seconds and think about what was being said.   The first reaction to criticism is to respond like a tiger is attacking you.    Ask yourself if what is being said is really threat.   What is really happening?   Understand what is triggering your emotions.   To engage your higher order thinking means to take five seconds or so to shift the automatic response to a cognitive thought process and respond with a well thought out statement.   Try it and see what happens.

Being willing to admit that you made a mistake if you did make one.   Be accountable and responsible for your actions and that will reduce the intensity of any criticism.  If you understand how the mistake was made you can correct it and offer that as a solution to the critic.  Make it easy on yourself and make it easier for the other person.   Make it a win-win outcome.
You can learn more about Gretchen here.

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