How to Take Constructive Criticism Like a Champ

“Your proposal is not convincing. You should have stated it this way…” Your supervisor told you. How would you react to this feedback? Do you know how to take constructive criticism well? The way you handle criticism will contribute to your success. Thus, whether it’s about your personal or professional goal, learning how to deal with constructive criticism is a skill that everyone should have. Here are the 6 steps on how to handle feedback so it would go well for both sides.

How to Take Constructive Criticism Like a Pro:

1. Control your first reaction

When you receive a criticism, stop for a moment. Let your mind evaluate the situation. This will help you process the feedback and avoid giving unprofessional response. You know, reacting based on emotion will not lead to an objective assessment. So, stay calm to be able to think constructively.

2. Understand the benefit of getting feedback

It’s hard to deal with a criticism that comes from someone whom you don’t admire. But even those people can help you see things that you need to improve. Understand that you will benefit from getting feedback as it teaches you to evaluate yourself or your work. That’s why controlling your first reaction allows you to remind yourself of the benefit. This in turn, will lead to your willingness to listen.

3. Listen to understand

Now that you have in your mind the benefit of getting feedback, it’s time  to understand the valuable insights from it to make it work in your favor. Pay close attention to what that person is saying about you or your work. After that, reiterate what you have heard. This is to ensure that you really understand what he wants to communicate with you. So, you’ll have an accurate interpretation of the issue.

4. Deconstruct the feedback

You can do this by asking questions so you can get clarity. Be careful not to go overboard and engage in a dispute. The purpose should be to process the feedback so you can get to the root cause of the issue. Interpreting the statement is not enough. You should also understand the basis. Doing this allows you to come up with the right solution. Also, it’s one way to determine if the criticism is constructive or simply rude. If it’s the latter, then just stay away from that person and be with positive people.  

5. Express your appreciation

Show to the person that you appreciate his efforts in giving you feedback. Don’t worry, expressing your appreciation does not equate to agreeing with his statement. If you know that the feedback doesn’t really echo the truth after careful assessment, be graceful in your response by appreciating the person. He might just the motive to help you become better at what you do. Well, you will know whether or not it’s a constructive criticism by doing step number 4.   

6. Apply the lesson

If you find out that the feedback is truthful and beneficial after giving careful consideration, then it deserves your attention. So, work on that valuable lesson so you will grow as a person. Knowing how to accept constructive criticism shows strength. Moreover, knowing what to do with it demonstrates intelligence. Wise people are always moving forward — growing from constructive criticism.

“Hey! Your business presentation lacks details. I think you should have added some…”

Oh, before you react, pause for a while. Remind yourself quickly that you’ll benefit from the feedback. Therefore, listen, for you might get some useful insights. Then deconstruct it for you to understand the basis and resolve the issue. Next thing is to appreciate the person because you will learn from him. Finally, learn and act on it. That’s how you move up a notch to excel in your field. So, win over the situation by learning how to take constructive criticism like a champ!

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Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

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