Criticism is one of those things that could be good or bad depending on how it’s given and taken. A good rule of thumb that I use is that if the person giving the criticism isn’t giving you a suggestion or a solution, then it’s not constructive and I just politely disregard it. On the other hand, if it’s constructive criticism that they’re giving, then I receive it with open arms because at the end of the day, true entrepreneurs are always willing to learn and grow.
Criticism is just the expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes. There are several ways to handle criticism whether it’s constructive or not along with whether it’s in person or online.
Below are seven ways to handle criticism effectively and use it to your benefit:
1. Don’t take it personal
Many times when criticism is given to us, we get defensive because it feels like we’re being attacked. Instead of taking it personal, try listening to see if what’s actually being said is true and makes sense. You can decide for yourself whether you’re going to use it or not.
The fact that someone else doesn’t approve or agree with what you’re saying or doing doesn’t mean that your wrong and they’re right. They just have a different point of view from you and that’s okay, so don’t take it personal.
2. Decide if it’s helpful
Really try and listen to see if what the other person is saying makes sense, is helpful, and is applicable. Usually, when we know we’re getting criticized, our first reaction is to shut the person off. We quickly begin thinking of our rebuttal to justify why we’re right and they’re wrong. Sometimes it’s better to just be quiet, actively listen, and take notes unless of course, it’s not constructive criticism. Then you treat it like dead weight and let it go.
3. Assume good intentions
Not everyone has good intentions, but if we can assume that they do (until they prove otherwise) it can become easier to handle whatever type of criticism comes your way. Most people who criticize you in person or “face to face” usually do have good intentions because if they’re approaching you, it’s probably because they truly want to help you.
Criticism that does not have good intentions is usually given behind your back and therefore doesn’t even matter because it’s already behind you. Keep moving forward!
“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” – Zig Ziglar
4. Own it
Don’t be quick to justify yourself. Our human nature is to respond quickly to prove our point and why we’re right. You’re not always going to be right and when you’re not, own up to it, embrace it, and be willing to humbly receive criticism especially if it’s going to help you win. Take note of what’s being said and really see how you can apply it to become the best you can be.
5. Make criticism your fuel
Let’s face it, not everyone is going to give you constructive criticism. The reality is that haters are going to hate regardless. The only thing you need to concern yourself with is not letting their criticism become your kryptonite. Use it as fuel to better yourself and keep pushing the needle forward. Let it energize you to learn more, do more, become more, and increase your superpowers!
6. Take it like a champ
If the criticism is good, great, take it and apply it. If it’s not constructive or serving you, there is no need to over react. Always remain professional and kindly say something like, “thank you for your feedback” and keep it moving. There’s no need to get sour about it and let it ruin the rest of your day. Remember, you’re a champ, so get out there and keep on winning.
“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” – John Wooden
7. Use it as a learning opportunity
Good, constructive feedback is always a great learning opportunity and so is the bad feedback. Good criticism is usually easy to take when it’s helping you to become a better version of yourself or level up in a particular area because the person giving it is sincere about helping you grow and win.
You can still learn from the negative feedback as well because sometimes there may be some truth in what’s being said and that’s what you can take away from it. Always walk away with the positive feedback and leave the negative stuff behind because it won’t benefit you in any way.
Criticism, whether it’s good or bad, is something that is never going to go away, so you might as well get used to it and learn how to walk away with the feedback you can use to benefit your life and business. Disregard whatever else you can’t apply or use.