Receiving criticism can be one of the toughest parts of a job. It is challenging to hear about your weaknesses that need to be corrected and how you should be building your strengths. Even though it can be uncomfortable, the best way to grow from criticism is by choosing to use that feedback in a positive way.

Everyone is a work in progress, so we all have improvements we can make.  When receiving criticism, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  1. LISTEN to what the person is saying, not how they are saying it. Giving feedback can also be a difficult task and could easily be making that person nervous as well. When you are listening to what they have to say, try not to reject it right away. Hear them out.
  2. REPEAT the feedback back to them. This way, if there is any confusion or miscommunication, it gets taken care of right away. The last thing you want to do is walk away from receiving criticism with the wrong message.
  3. ASK SPECIFIC QUESTIONS to help clarify. Doing so will help make the feedback useful. With that being said, avoid debating with the person giving the criticism; instead, ask questions to try and find solutions.
  4. SAY THANK YOU. Remember that giving criticism isn’t easy either, and people who give you feedback want to you to succeed.

So, you’ve received criticism – now how do you go about using it? It’s all about your mindset. If you view the criticism as threatening or personal, you will not grow from it as much as you will if you see it as helpful. Don’t let your ego get in the way. We should all have the desire to want to be better. Understanding that who you are today doesn’t have to be who you are in the future will help you keep an open mindset and a willingness to improve.

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