4 Ways Leaders Can Handle Criticism

Today’s post is from leadership blogger Dan Black:

If you’re leading then you will encounter critics. During the times you’re criticized you can either chose to move past what has happened or allow it to prevent you from moving forward. I have witnessed people who have allowed criticism to prevent them from achieving and moving forward. The truly successful people have learned to handle criticism and allow it to raise them to new heights. Below are 4 ways to handle criticism:

  • Know and expect it to happen: The first step in handling criticism successfully is to know it will happen. This is especially true for those who are reaching toward their potential and dreams. This is because many people resist moving past average and try to stop others from doing the same thing. Knowing you will be criticized can prepare you for when it does happen.
  • Embrace it: It requires wisdom to embrace the truths of the criticism while discarding the false or negative. Much of the time there is truth behind the criticism. It is important to choose to learn and grow from what the person is saying. New York Times Bestselling author Hendrie Weisinger said, “Criticism is information that will help you grow.” This happens when we separate the positive from the negative and retain the information that will help us become better.
  • Don’t react to the critic: The challenging part about being criticized is to not react negatively toward the critic. It’s human nature to protect self and attack back when we are being criticized or attacked. When a person reacts negatively toward a critic it only causes more problems. Remember, “He who throws dirt always loses ground”~Unknown. When being criticized, I suggest you take a breath then chose your words carefully.
  • Move forward: After embracing and learning from the criticism then chose to move forward. Don’t allow what has been said or done to hold you back from a better tomorrow. A support team of trusted family members and friends can help you better handle criticism. This is because they can encourage, support, and lift you up after you have been criticized.

These are 4 effective ways to handle feedback.

P.S. There is a type of feedback we have to be careful about, which is unsolicited feedback or criticism. This feedback or criticism can be dangerous because it’s often given for the benefit of the giver rather than the recipient. We should not feel obligated to take action on feedback that is unsolicited and set boundaries with people who always try and give us this type of feedback or criticism.

Question: How do you handle being criticized?

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