When someone offers you criticism, whether it's constructive or not, do you take it as rejection or as a time to reflect?
Most people, myself included, if we're brutally honest take criticism as a form of rejection. We take painfully personal. It's an admission no one wants to make. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone tell me anything other than - I welcome criticism and don't take it personally.
Every time I hear that, or whatever variation it comes in, I think exactly the same thought - Bull$#!+! Criticism, whether it's delivered the right way or not, is personal, it is painful to hear, and it is the very definition of someone rejecting what they're criticizing about us. So how can we be reflective and not feel rejected?
First, accept the fact that you're human and it will feel like rejection. But just like me, once you get past the bruised ego, then and only then can you become reflective. Let me give you an example.
I received some feedback recently that was different from my usual, "you're amazing" type of feedback at one of my events. At first I was shocked to hear the comment, then I felt hurt, and then I was kind of an egomaniac inside thinking - who do they think they are? I'm the expert at presenting. They're hear to learn, not judge.
Fortunately that whole emotional sequence lasted about 5 minutes, and then I put my ego aside and started to reflect on what they had to offer. And you know what, they were spot on correct. Their perspective inspired me to change the way I delivered one section of my content. I went back to the creative phase, came up with a modified approach and the feedback has been 10x's better than I expected.
This is all because I became reflective. Reflective means putting your ego and hurt feelings aside. If someone is offering yo criticism they're doing it to help you, and you must acknowledge, accept and apply it as such. You're going to have a bruised ego at first. So what! Put your feelings aside and ask a better question - how can I use this feedback to make an outstanding improvement in myself?
Ask that question and I guarantee you'll improve for the better. Look criticism is rejection, but you can't have real reflection until you move past the rejection we all feel. So welcome criticism and it's unfortunate rejection, and apply what you learn. You'll earn their respect, and your own.
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