Help Me I’m Being Criticized!

Critics say more about themselves than they do about you. They impose personal values and expectations as criteria to evaluate you and your behaviors.

The more your organization accomplishes the more criticism leaders face. Some will complain you didn’t accomplish the right things. Others will criticize your methods, and some will question your motives -suggesting you’re driven by arrogant self-glorification.

Six questions to ask when you’re criticized:

Consider sources:

#1. Is the critic over you, your equal, below you, or outside your organization?

#2. How much influence does the person have relative to your own?

Consider motivations:

#3. Is your critic motivated by self-interest, your-interest, or organizational interest?

Consider values:

#4. Does your critic share your values? This question is the most important question.

Consider results:

#5. Will listening to your critic propel you toward your goals and move you closer to realizing your vision?

#6. What consequences result if you ignore your critic?

Seven Guiding Principles:

#1. Respond in ways that elevate you and your organization.

#2. Never take criticism personally, focus on behaviors.

#3. Always explore potential improvements.

#4. Invite sincere critics to participate in improvements. Abraham Lincoln said, “He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.”

#5. Listen to, thank, and then ignore persistent critics. If they persist, stop listening! Denny Strigl explains, “The more you respond to criticism the more credence you give it.”

#6. Never defend yourself by criticizing your critic.

#7. Invite your advocates to be your critics.

Elbert Hubard suggests you can easily avoid criticism by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing.

Criticism stings sincerity the most. Sincerity, however, doesn’t give you a free-pass from criticism. While being criticized, keep your eye on vision; cling to values, and never let critics derail you.


More on criticism:

10 Ways to Get the Most From Criticism

Criticize me – You’ll go higher if a trusted friend brings you down.

Criticism and Vision – Vision enables you to run toward criticism rather than away from it.


How do you handle critics?

What’s your best word of advice for those facing criticism?


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