Handling Negative Comments: Why & When Criticism Is A Good Thing

originalWe’ve all had those days when our boss, publisher or best friend take us aside and tell us that everything we’re doing, we’re doing wrong. But on those kind of days, the key to survival is to think about how you react to the criticism before you do.

The truth is, nobody likes to hear what they aren’t doing right. It’s human nature to want the best for ourselves, but if you learn how to turn what you’re doing wrong, into what you’re doing right, this knowledge could easily speed up your advances into the future. So why is criticism a good thing?

1. Criticism is an Opportunity

Before you get emotional in the face of feedback, think about the logical points behind it. If you were making short, bullet pointed notes about your performance – What would you write down?

The key is to look at the feedback objectively. It’s not an emotional attack, it’s a plan. So stay calm and remember that this is just one of many small steps in one, big learning curve.

By knowing what you’re doing wrong and how you can be doing better, you can not only learn more about how to work better in your team but also about the job at hand and the person you’re working for. The more you know, the more you can improve and the closer to your goal you will become.

2. Criticism Makes the Product Stronger

If you know what’s bringing a product, team or research project down, then you have a huge advantage over your competitor. So what if a customer complained? So what if your published didn’t like that character?

Now you know for next time, exactly what you direct competitor will probably never know and you’ll be saving heaps of time, money and energy in the process.

Think about it. If you know where you’re slipping, you can tackle those issues before they become problems and save tonnes of time from it. Time is your greatest resource in your pursuit for success and for this reason it’s important to consider all areas of weakness before they become ingrained in your work.

3. Criticism Forces You To Think

Everybody thinks about what they do at work, who they spoke to, where they’re going. But nobody wants to think about what their work is lacking. However, that’s why getting feedback is good, as it forces you to face the big and small questions that sometimes pass us by.

Are you good at what you do? Is it time to move onto something new? Are you happy with where this path is leading you? Would you be a better fit somewhere else? Sometimes we need a little encouragement to keep ourselves in check and criticism is one of the best encouragements around.

4. Criticism Can Give You An Advantage

People who don’t know what the boss is looking for, or that publishers don’t like X sort of character won’t get as far as you in the race for success; or, it will take them much longer.

Every time you get a piece of criticism, it’s just a piece of the puzzle, the bigger picture. Treat each comment as a stepping stone. Something that, if you take advantage of, can help you get just that little bit further.

5. Criticism Opens Your Mind To New Perspectives

If you went through everything on your own, there’s a good chance that you’ll miss something very important. That’s why we encourage you, here at One Life Success, to let other people’s opinions shape your work too, if even, only a little.

After all, most products are built for another person – not yourself – and in order to provide successfully for the world that’s out there, you have to listen to a little bit of what it’s telling you and what it’s missing too.

6. Criticism Can Make You Stronger

If you’re tough enough to face criticism then you’re tough enough to face anything. Part of building confidence in your ideas and future, is accepting your weaknesses and turning them into strengths, a learning curve.

Someone without experience of criticism will find it much harder to cope in more high-maintenance environments than someone whose had lots and lots of criticism in the past. And thus, the more you get, the easier it becomes to cope with and also, you’ll probably become much better at you job from it too.

7. Criticism Gives Purpose To The Everyday

If you have an everyday, mundane job to tide you over for now, working can be dull and depressing… or so I found anyway. But having a little criticism during your working day can really help you add a purpose to the work you do and make you feel just that little bit more involved in the hierarchy as a whole, and also able to climb that hierarchy in the future.

Some Final Thoughts

All of this is easy for me to say, but there is also a time and place for criticism. If you know someone is about to give you feedback on a bad day either try to get calm in advance or reschedule it for a time that you’re feeling slightly more open about it.

Another good way to prepare is to bring a notebook, that way you can list the things you need to mention to the person beforehand, and avoid taking the criticism to heart.

Hopefully this knowledge will prove useful to all of you out there who are just starting the new school term or a new job this September! Remember, this is the prime time to start building on the past and paving your way for the future.

So get involved. Stay calm. And learn when you can.

Wrote by Aimee Hall