Last time we looked at the different ways we respond to criticism, so this time I want to look at how we choose to react to the feedback. Since not all criticism is good and constructive over, it is important to evaluate the feedback before selecting a course of action. For that reason we should consider a couple of things when absorbing and processing criticism.
1. Who is offering the criticism? Is your parent, boss, spouse, friend, or co-worker? The source of the criticism can determine a lot about how you react to it and how seriously you take it. Is it a person you trust? Is it someone who truly wants to see you grow?
2. What is the relevance of the criticism? Is it as simple as being asked to wipe down the counter after washing dishes or as major as critiquing the quality of your work output? If it's a simple behavioral change, then go for it. If someone is asking you to lower your performance or give up your personal flare or something you have a talent for doing, then by all means, proceed with caution. Someone who cares about you and has a vested interest in you for personal and/or professional growth most often gives criticism.
If the criticism is more serious in nature, and you are questioning the validity of the feedback, I'd suggest turning to mentors and sounding boards in your life for an outside perspective. Don't just comply right away to achieve the quickest conflict resolution and avoid political situations. It is wise to take tome time to evaluate what is being said and turn to the people you trust to help guide you to solid decisions that guide your personal success. A slow, steady evaluation can hell you when you're deciding how to respond over the long-term.
If the criticism is given in an unexpected situation and you can control your reaction long enough to not be emotional right away, ask for some time to consider things and get back to the person to discuss the feedback once you've had a time to reflect.
Accepting and applying feedback is certainly a challenge, and if it's given by someone who cares about you, then it can be an amazing tool to help you develop effective communication skills and grow into a leadership role. In the end, since your control your words, thought, and actions, the decision on how you handle criticism is yours.