December 1998 Web Brief
Learning to be Successful

Quote of the month: "Here is a simple but powerful rule...always give people more than they expect to get" Nelson Boswell

Receive Criticism Successfully
Source: Communication Briefings ideas that work

To receive criticism effectively, try these techniques:

  • Put your shields up. Immediately picture a protective shield surrounding you before you react. This buys you a few seconds to examine your criticís intentions. Should you explore the criticism further as a possible way to grow professionally? Or should you dismiss it as only a hurtful message?
  • Act like a coffee filter. If you explore the criticism further, you need to strain out the emotional grounds, the criticís fear or anger, from the facts. This allows you to respond only to the useful information and not the criticís emotions.
  • Pretend youíre Sherlock Holmes. Donít rest until you get all the pieces of the criticism mystery. Ask for specifics. Example: "When you said the report was incomplete, exactly what did you mean?"
  • Say "Youíre right." Itís a lot easier to say than "Iím wrong." And these few words pour water on the potential blaze of a heated discussion.

Source: Mel Ann Coley, Coley Training and Development, 3830 Burning Tree Lane, Garland, TX 75042.