LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP
By: Marlene Green, Executive Leadership Coach, Speaker and Trainer
Deal with Criticism Like an Expert
From an early age we are not trained to deal with criticism nor how to handle the emotional responses we experience. In school if you got one problem wrong on a 10-question test your grade immediately dropped to a B and you were no longer "excellent." Excellence should not be equated with perfection. Perfectionism itself is a huge problem that often slows down efficiency and even stops high potential professionals from getting anything done for fear of not being "perfect." The core of the problem is fear of criticism.
Thank the Critic and Keep Moving
When you are presented by criticism by others, it is important to take note of it, but don't let it overwhelm you. Criticism has the ability to slow down progress, your motivation to excel and your level of energy. Don't let it get you down. Thank your critic and move on. Continue to take action. Action breeds excellence. Inaction breeds self-doubt, self-criticism and poor results.
Internal & External Critics
Your critic may be internal or external. By this I mean you can be your own worst critic. Your subconscious can be tough as nails and undermine your ability to move forward. Having a list of goals, or a routine that is established, can be a good way to keep the internal critic at bay. Review your daily goals each night and each morning. Set yourself on a road to success and affirm your positive goals, reasons for achieving them and the positives you will receive from the expected results.
Performance assessments may come from clients, colleagues, a boss, family, friends, or even the competition. Remember that you will succeed only if you keep yourself motivated and your eye on the ball. Don't let constructive evaluations undermine your efforts. Greatness happens when you welcome and appreciate evaluations, roadblocks and other challenges. Thank your critics and continue working. You can reevaluate your goals as you go along to make sure you are still on the right track. However, it shouldn't stop you from achieving your goals. Remember, if you aren't getting any criticism, you probably aren't working hard enough. Anybody that puts forward massive effort will receive criticism along the way.
Welcoming evaluation is an important way to grow, adapt and change. However, not all criticism is deserved. Sometimes the motivations of others cloud their opinions and it may skew their opinions. Opinions do not equal fact.
Even constructive criticism should not affect your progress. Work from your strengths. You have exceptional value right now. This value can provide others with service, which will enable you to provide quality to their lives. Everyone has areas of weakness. Use evaluations to help sharpen your skills. It is important to not take assessments personally. It is not an attack on your character or your person. Work towards continual self-improvement. Don't let it stop you, sap your energy, or detract you from achieving your most valued goals.
If you are experiencing any negative reactions toward criticism, I can help you develop the positive responses you need to achieve greater success. For more information about my group and individual coaching programs, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To your continued success!
Marlene Green, PCC, NCC™
Leadership Coach, Speaker and Trainer
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