For any leader, even the best ones, it is crucial to know how to handle criticism from subordinates, customers, and other external influences. While most successful leaders have learned how to use critiques constructively, such analysis is a powerful force for change.
The most significant value of constructive criticism is that it can fuel individual advancement or corporate improvement: Wise leaders need to take some constructive review, from time to time, to remain fully conscious of how they’re performing and to understand how they can improve. By doing so, they become better able to manage future situations and thus increase their efficiency as leaders. As such, these “constructive” criticisms can serve as a catalyst for future success. Unfortunately, sometimes wise leaders are unable to recognize the negative aspects of their own behavior and come across as harsh and uncooperative toward their subordinates and customers; these people need to recognize that there’s an important difference between criticism and toxicity.
Here are some practical ways on how to handle criticism effectively in your career.
- Don’t Jump to the Victim Card Game: Stop being at constant war with reality. Admit reality rather than resist it; stop blaming your critics. What others do is on them, and what you do is on you. Rather than play the victim, own the analysis and convert it into new possibilities previously unseen. Be a development agent and turn the negativity into a stage to enable growth, growth, and infinite possibilities.
- Don’t Impulsively React: Picture this. You are sitting with a friend at a cafe, and he comments something terrible about your anger. In that case, the responses you make can be many. However, what I want to advise you is you should just take a step back, breathe, examine what he just commented, and see if he was right about your anger is a problem. Criticism can be an eye-opener for us if we learn to step back and understand it.
- Learning Curve: Criticism is the best way of learning and adapting to a better approach. Though you can never be the most perfect human on earth, you must be open-minded enough to course-correct along the way when leading. Leadership challenges you to renew, pivot, and reinvent yourself every day. Though you may have encountered success in the past, leadership requires you to invest in yourself so that you can become a faster, better, and more fluid, sustainable, stable, and permanent change agent.
Businesses need leaders who can rise to any challenge presented to them and learn how to overcome them, rather than running in the opposite direction when something doesn’t go their way.