Receiving criticism

How to recognize constructive criticism when you need to (and why it often sounds so unconstructive)

Lets just say that in my experience constructive criticism can be like a wolf in sheep’s’ clothing. What may appear to be a personal assault might actually be a valid criticism and worth taking on board. There are many reasons why constructive criticism can sound and be delivered harshly. If at work the corporate or formal environment may dictate it to be so for example but more often than not those providing the constructive criticism find it both difficult and uncomfortable and are often clueless as to how to best deliver it. This needn’t mean that it is unfounded or malicious.


The best way to decipher constructive criticism is to ask some very revealing questions, such as those below but be forewarned, whilst it does take great courage to do so it is well worth it as it could identify opportunities for your own personal development and growth.


How to keep your ego in check when receiving criticism

Even the most modest people can suffer from their ego being damaged as a result of criticism and  I can’t deny it was difficult to keep my ego in check when receiving criticism in the past. What helped me was remembering a few key things which reminded me that being defensive is often counter-productive. Please do bear in mind that being defensive is quite different to standing up for yourself, which I will go into in more depth later – please see below for a list of my ‘reminders’ that helped me receive criticism better.


  • I am not perfect
  • I make mistakes
  • I can admit to my mistakes without it being equal to a failure
  • I can learn from my mistakes and become better for it
  • Whoever is criticizing me may be able to offer insights into ways by which I can develop and grow
  • It is important to keep an open mind to different opinions to my own


Octobers Hot Topic – Receiving Criticism

We all know that receiving criticism can be very hard indeed. Often feeling like a personal attack, the instinctive thing to do is to become defensive and yet this approach can undermine growth or worse, lead to conflict. In this series I will be exploring the ways by which we can receive criticism so that put downs are exposed and, if the criticism is constructive, genuine learning and growth can take place.


In a very real way this assertiveness based skill can help you advance in your career and personal life beyond measure – so let’s begin!


x X x Jenny x X x

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