I remember as a kid getting “conduct” grades at my little private school run by nuns. We actually got grades in:
- Works well with others
- Homework – Complete, Prompt, Neat Independent
- Accepts Criticism Well
- General Conduct
Good grief. Item # 3 on that list…I wonder how many of my teachers accepted criticism well! I still don’t always, but I try.
Jack Canfield in one of his talks describes the mistake in ignoring criticism.
He does a mock performance with his attendees explaining that his goal is over “there” (he points somewhere in the room) and then asks for their “constructive criticism” in getting there – to his goal.
Comically, he puts his fingers in his ears and walks away from the goal. Everyone in the audience shouts, but he keeps going further and further away because he refuses to listen to them.
Everyone gets a good laugh, and he illustrates the importance of listening to criticism very well.
Criticism is a “pinprick” type of pain. It hurts, but the sooner we are honest with ourselves (and if we trust our critique) we can take what we do to the next level. Part of this is getting over the ego identification with what we do. What we do is not who we are.
Know that it should and will hurt, and know that it is probably your ego. It’s not that you’re bad, or a failure – it’s just that nobody knows it all, not you , I or anyone – and outside guidance is good.
If we can get over the ego bruise and get on with the message contained in the critique and take action, that’s called growth, and I repeat, it is good.