How Do You Handle Criticism?


To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing and be nothing

Elbert Hubbard

Criticism is something as a leader that you have to learn to deal with and face head on. If you don’t it will kill you and your leadership. It is just a matter of fact, not everyone is going to just love your ideas or line up with you philosophy. Many times your motives will be questioned and so learning what to do with criticism as a leader becomes very important.

I learned these principles early on in my leadership development when my mentor of mine, Robert M. Graber that gave me some incredible advice. Those words that day have stuck with me all through and have been important in dealing with criticism both personally and professionally as continue in my development as a leader.

The first thing is to simply to consider the source. So in another words that person that is has said something, sent you a text or email are they someone you know? If so how close are they to you or are they a person who has a reputation of being a critical? Take a moment before you let it get to you and consider the where the negativity is coming from.

The second thing is to take an honest look at what is being said or the criticism that you are receiving. This might be the hardest part in the process. To be honest with your self about the particular thing that is being brought into question. It is really easy at this point to just be defensive in your mindset, but it is critical to learning how to handle criticism in your life. So being willing to face the truth with your self is very important.

The third thing, after you have made an honest assessment of information, is to do something with that criticism. So if what is being said, is true, accept what as being said as being constructive criticism. So you next step is to begin to apply the changes needed to the situation or take the comments and make the necessary modifications in your life or in the way you are leading.

The fourth thing is simple, yet very hardest part. But is can only happen after you have looked at the source, taken an honest look, and decided to take action. So what action do you take with criticism if the person making the critical remarks is not a good source or what they are saying just does not apply, then simply throw it in trash. You remove the negativity from your memory bank. You simple get rid of it and move to face the many more challenges and opportunities you will face in your life and development as a leader.

Thank you Robert M. Graber for sharing these words with me many years ago!

How do you deal with criticism? Because as a leader, you know it will come.



Is It Time to Wash the Blackboard?



When I was in elementary school Friday’s where a special day. Yes, it was the last day of the week and I knew that the weekend was coming and not school. But that was not the significance of the day being special. The reason it was special was because Friday’s someone in the class would get picked to wash the blackboard.

You see, all week the teacher would write on the blackboard, not a a smart board like today, and then she would erase and write on it  again and erase and write on it again and the process would go on all week. But when she erased you could still see the “smudges” of the chalk on the board. But Friday was different, because it was the day the blackboard got not only erased but washed. And the good part was, If you were chosen for the blackboard it was a special honor. Because when everyone else was doing their assignments, you did were excused from the assignment because you were washing the blackboard. When you finished the project the blackboard was not full of erased chalk markings, but it was totally clean and perfectly black, it was like it was brand new.

I have told many people the story using this backboard as our lives. Because when we sin (we all will and do) it is like the chalk marks on the blackboard. Even though we try to erase what we have done, you still seem to be able to see writing coming through. But did you know, “The blood that Jesus shed for you way back on calvary, The blood  that gives you strength from day to day. It will never lose its power. It reaches to the highest mountain. It flow to the lowest valley. The blood that gives me strength from day to day. It will never lose its power.” (Crystal Lewis – The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power)

It is simply the blood that washes away all your sin. I John 1:9 say, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Simple put…when we ask God to forgive us, he washes our blackboard and all the “smudges” are going forever.

But you don’t have to wait till Friday. Because every time you ask He (Jesus) who shed his blood for you and me, forgives your sin and washes your blackboard clean.