How do you deal with constructive criticism? Do you get all flaky when your readers chastise you on your blog or do you stand up like a man and face the facts. Regardless of the industry you blog in, you will encounter negative feedback at some stages in your blogging career.
While the natural urge is to turn around and run a mile or two, you really shouldn’t and I tell you why.
Criticism is good for you!
When others criticize you, it means they care about you. They want you to do even better than you already do and are not afraid to offer you helpful feedback. If you care to see it that way of course. I admit that in the past I did not like criticism at all. I was like a stubborn mule who refused to see the truth, regardless of the cost I paid for it.
Now that I’m a little more grown up (note the "little") I actually welcome criticism (be nice please). It helps me to get better at what I do. Hearing all the time that I’m great and good at my craft is really nice (and I mean this too), but sometimes I wish for somebody to actually turn around and tell me where I could better my performance. Don’t worry, it does happen occasionally and it it in those times I take another step forward
Does that make me mental? No way. I’m simply interested to keep growing, both as a person and a business owner. Since I’m no longer afraid of making mistakes, I welcome constructive feedback (please note the constructive) way more than if somebody repeatedly keeps slapping my back, telling me how good I did.
The growth factor
I see critic like a breath of fresh air. While our first reaction might be blushing, anger, feeling misunderstood or chastised, when we get criticized by others, we often see the underlying benefits of the message eventually. Once the emotions have cleared out.
The messenger has actually just done us a favor.
By looking constructive at how we could have done a task better than we did, we will discover a new strength within us. If we are able to tap into this strength it will help us to grow continuously.
The person who has stopped growing (mentally) is in my eyes a dead person. I know that switching off to critics is sometimes the easy way out. I also know that most of you are often stressed and challenged enough in life without having somebody criticize you.
The difference lies in the construction
Here is the thing though. There is a huge difference in the way we can give somebody helpful and constructive feedback opposed to just telling them off. Telling off usually doesn’t work. If you think back to your school days I’m sure you remember occasions when the teacher reprimanded you.
Did it feel good. I bet not. It made you look like an idiot in front of the whole class.
Reprimanding isn’t the same as giving constructive criticism. Reprimanding is telling somebody off, either for the sake of making them feel inferior (often done by bullies), or telling them off for the sake of teaching a lesson (such as by parents and teachers).
The interesting thing is that even children would react a lot better to constructive criticism than downright reprimands. A criticism can also be a reprimand. It depends on the language that is used to deliver it.
If we shout, scream or abuse, we cannot be constructive. When feelings are involved we cannot be constructive either. To be constructive we have to evaluate the situation and offer feedback based on what is expected of the person doing the task.
If that expectation isn’t met, then constructive criticism might be offered.
The fine line
All too often we get emotional when opinions are involved. And that is really the key. If you run on emotions, don’t ever offer criticism to anybody. Since you can’t be factual when you are upset or disappointed it will only be misunderstood by the person who receives your critic.
Opinions also don’t qualify us to criticize others, only to discuss our difference in views.
When to offer constructive criticism
If you run a business with guidelines and those are not met by your employees, then you have every right to voice your concerns with constructive criticism. After all you have a system to follow and when people don’t stick to the rules it is high time for you to take action.
You can also be constructive with your children, spouses or your friends. We can all gain from being respected and receiving valuable feedback. Regardless of what you do and where you live, try to take this with you and implement it into your own life.
Be constructive – not abusive.
What do you think personally about being criticized? Do you get all offensive, or is it beneficial for you because it helps you to grow too? Please let me know.