How do you respond to criticism? I know no one likes to receive criticism, including me. It's part of our innate being because it tears at our egos and pride. I have noticed over the years that there are people how have developed a finesse and skill at offering feedback without it being condescending or off-putting in any way.
As I was thinking about the different ways we react to criticism, I thought of anger, defensiveness, and compliance.
1. Anger. When someone tells you you're doing something wrong, it's easy to grow angry, especially if you're passionate about what it is you are doing that the other person doesn't like.
2. Defensiveness. After growing angry, defensiveness often follows. I know I like to defend my actions, particularly if it's something my heart and soul was involved in creating.
3. Compliance. After accepting the criticism and getting over the ego-burn, it's very often we choose to try to self-improve and respond to the desired change. It's a way to achieve conflict resolution. For more on conflict resolution, see my post : Are You Comfortable with Conflict?
On one side, feedback can be very beneficial. My mentor, Rhonda Shasteen, says, "It is important to have a manager who will give you feedback, otherwise you won't grow." That's great career advice from a master!
On the other hand negative feedback can be detrimental. There can be somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy there. If a person is treated like they can't do something for long enough, then they will often start to believe it and behave in that manner themselves. In fact, being around long-term critical people can also wear at your self-esteem and sense of worth or even affect your performance at work, so next time we'll look at what to do with the criticism once you've received it.
In the meantime, please share your thoughts on how you react to criticism and how to deliver it if you must.