Which Critics to Ignore and How to Have Fun with the Others

Everyone needs someone in their life who doesn’t need to be liked.

What if your critics aren’t complete idiots?


Self-protection is self-limiting:

Critiquing your critics is a standard self-limiting behavior when receiving negative feedback.

  1. They don’t like me. But people who don’t like you may be more honest than those who think you’re awesome.
  2. They don’t see the whole picture. But you don’t need to see everything to see something.
  3. They always complain. But people who complain a lot may be talented at pointing out faults.
  4. They have a personal agenda. But people with a personal agenda are motivated to point out real shortcomings.
  5. They’re holding a grudge. But a grudge doesn’t make a person wrong, even if it makes them irritating.

If someone doesn’t like you, so what? Tighten your belt. Ask a few uncomfortable questions.

Curiosity is more valuable than self justification.

  1. What makes you say that?
  2. Could you remind me of a time when you saw me (insert complaint)?
  3. When you see me (insert complaint), what do you see me doing?

Courageous vulnerability eliminates blame and eradicates defensiveness.

Fun with critics:

If you want to have fun with critics, get them to help you improve.  Ask, “If I was better at (insert criticism) what would you see me doing?” Press for specifics. Avoid generalities.

Don’t let critics off the hook when it’s time to make things better.

Try some of your critic’s suggestions as long as they don’t cause harm or violate your values. Critics aren’t complete idiots. (Well, some aren’t.)

3 critics to ignore:

  1. The question-motives-critic. You aren’t sincere enough even though you improved.
  2. The not-good-enough critic. You’re making progress, but it’s never good enough.
  3. The you’re-going-to-fail critic. You won’t sustain progress.

Ignore critics who find-fault as you improve.

Listen to raving fans while making progress.

What excuses do leaders offer when they’re ignoring critics?

When is it better to ignore critics?

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