To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing and be nothing
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.