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Is Criticism a Gift in Disguise? Handle with Care

Recently, LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, posted an amazing piece of advice, “Even negative feedback can be a gift. Take it seriously but don’t let it define you. Define yourself.”  Well said.

Criticism is often tough to take, but can be a valuable tool to help you learn and grow.  When Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was asked during a talk what was the number one thing she looked for in a person who could scale within a company, Sandberg quickly responded, “Someone who takes feedback well. Because people who can take feedback well are people who can learn and grow quickly.”

Can you handle criticism? Here’s some advice on how to handle negative feedback in the best way possible:

  1. Don’t focus on how it was delivered. Often times the person giving feedback, doesn’t present it in the best manner.  Don’t focus on what they are doing wrong, focus on what you can do right.
  2. Keep emotions in check. Even though it may take a huge effort, don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Remaining calm will help you focus on the facts. Easier said than done, right?
  3. Own it. A famous NYC chef was raked over the coals by The New York Times.  Instead of being inflamed at the paper, he used the critique to demonstrate his commitment to his customers and his work.  Curious how he handled it? Check out his response.
  4. Be grateful. Consider thanking the person who took time to give you feedback that will ultimately better you as a person.
  5. Forget the excuses. It’s easy to tell someone the reasons behind why you weren’t at your best in a particular situation.  When you are receiving feedback, it’s best to not offer up a litany of excuses or justify the behavior.   Be proactive, not reactive.

Here’s to hoping you see feedback as a positive, not a negative.  Your next opportunity to grow could be right around the corner – view our current job openings.

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