How do you Approach Criticism? How do you Approach Criticism?
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In our professional environment, we depend on teamwork and collaboration to get things done. We know we cannot achieve everything by ourselves. We need support, ideas, and more importantly, feedback, to bring out our best for the organization and departments that we work with.

No matter what your organization’s culture is like, teamwork is the mother of success. All the values that we can say we have started with a team. That’s why organizations invest in human capital to build a team that’s outstanding. With effective teamwork, nothing is impossible.

One of the components that helps team growth is feedback. Feedback is not as comfortable as it sounds. It’s pretty hard to give feedback and especially to receive it.

This process requires attentive listening, enough time to listen, and embracing the feedback with your mind and heart. This means showing the willingness to absorb information that can build you into a better team player.

Below are a few things that I would love to share with you. These suggestions will help you stay smart and have confidence in the information that will be provided to you. This input will bring about productivity:

· The first and foremost thing to do is find someone you trust and talk about your case. Don’t talk to everyone about your issues or just pick random feedback. Your chosen source of feedback will have a great impact on how you perceive yourself. It can break or build your mind. That one person you know who inspires you to grow will give you constructive criticism that can elevate your productivity.

· It is important to do a good analysis, measure all the feedback and filter out the key takeaways, and assess the impact of the actions that you will take. Not everything needs to be addressed, and you can ignore what does not make sense.

Seek to directly understand the feedback. Do not make excuses. This means avoiding self-defense, which may lead you to misunderstand the feedback. You do not want to be in that position because you will miss valuable learning opportunities.

· Practice composure. Let’s look at the meaning of this first before we chew in. This is a state or feeling of being calm and in control of oneself. Feedback can be strong it comes in to challenge you in the areas that you think you are already effective but may not be. You need to be in control from appearance to your inner person. Be calm and learn to accept the information as it comes in. Don’t rush to respond or challenge back. Be able to listen to it and give your carefully considered, honest views.

· Evaluate your response. Do not just throw words to challenge the person giving you feedback. Be able to understand it has taken their courage to give you feedback. They could just as easily choose to be quiet and let you stay in your comfort zone and not give you the chance to grow. So, choose your words carefully as you decide to respond to the feedback.

· Ask the right questions that will make a difference in the conversation and bring out the best of you. Do this by making sure you are genuine in all you seek to understand. You can always request suggestions for how to start acting effectively upon the feedback given to you.

· Look at the whole picture. This means being able to evaluate the action and the impact that’s in place. This is understanding our role and place within the organisation. We tend to be blinded by our good intentions towards situations but sometimes the impact could be different and so it’s important to have a “360-degree view” of the feedback.

· Take advantage of the criticism. This is to make sure you work on your areas of need. Don’t let them lag behind. Take note of everything that you were told clearly in your notebook and evaluate it by simply writing what went wrong and why.

· Be humble. This is very important. Set your ego to the side and humble yourself, for the person giving you feedback aims to help you improve on the specific matter they are sharing with you. Humbling yourself gives the opportunity to the other person to help you understand the feedback and encouragement that they can approach you whenever there is something they would love to share with you for your personal growth.

· Be kind to yourself. Last but not least, remember to be kind to yourself. We must strive to treat ourselves the way we treat our friends; by encouraging them, giving them a second chance and approaching them with kindness. Be kind to yourself, speak nicely to yourself and raise your own spirit by knowing that you can get there and do better.

Take it easy on yourself and put some work on the feedback you gain. There is no need to rush. Work on it as you go, request more feedback to seek improvements and, importantly, find someone you trust and talk to about your case so they can help you grow in the right direction. 

  • "If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try."—Seth Godin.

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Furahini Mmbakweni
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Furahini Mmbakweni

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