Why Constructive Criticism Is So Incredibly Valuable

Sometimes it's hard to hear, but it's so important.

Courtesy of Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock
Courtesy of Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

When you ask for constructive criticism, often, you don’t really want it. You may say, say, “Yes, please give me your feedback, good and bad, as I’d love to hear it.” 

But if you hear even the slightest bit of criticism, your eyebrows furrow, you go into defensive mode, and you’re ready to respond with a sharp-tongued comment.

Some people are better at this than others, and I’ve improved a lot over the years, but candidly, I can still feel my shoulders tighten up a bit when I get feedback not to my full liking. Remember, I’m talking about constructive criticism.

If someone is downright rude and criticizing you, then you need to use your skills of just not listening or walking away.

When you ask for feedback, remember you’re doing so for positive reasons. You want to personally improve or the project you’re showing to be better represented.  

So if the news is not to your liking, stop, take a breath, and just listen. Don’t exhibit any non-verbal communication. 

After the person finishes, think about some good qualifying questions you can ask. Maybe the person can provide greater details that will make it easier for you to accept the feedback.  You also need to take into account the source of the constructive criticism. 

Frankly, it is the job of your manager or other higher-level supervisor to give you feedback. If they don’t, then they’re really doing a disservice to you and the employer. 

Constructive criticisms are suggestions to help you improve. We all need to view them as positive interactions with someone who wants to assist us to get to a better place. If we view them in a defensive way, then we are only hurting ourselves.

Are you limiting your potential because you haven’t mastered workplace skills, office politics, and career development?

Do you ever feel pressured to learn the latest strategies just to stay ahead of your peers? Are there times when you feel intimidated by colleagues with fancy titles or advanced degrees who don’t shy away from sharing their opinions? We can all fall into the trap of getting caught up in a competitive and stressful work environment and the result can negatively impact our confidence and ability to maximize our potential. Based on business lessons and techniques that Dean Karrel learned throughout his career this book reveals that common sense, integrity, character, and the importance of self-confidence are the critical cornerstones of being successful and fulfilled in business. Being yourself, working to the best of your ability, and mastering the basics is what can set you apart from the rest!

Excerpted from Mastering the Basics: Simple Lessons for Achieving Success in Business by Dean Karrel. Published 2019 by Post Hill Press. Used with permission.

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