Let’s talk about taking criticism. As business owners and humans, we work through new situations and get new feedback from clients, friends, colleagues, our dogs, whoever. It doesn’t always feel good. You come home from work, your dog pooped on the rug, that’s feedback, you were gone too long. I want you to be able to take it like a boss, learn from it, be better. Okay, maybe not just from your dog, but in every aspect of taking criticism.
I’m a person who actually loves getting criticism and feedback because it’s a way for me to improve myself and my surroundings which is my intention for my daily life.
Park your Ego
First things first, you must put your ego aside. Entering a situation where you’re receiving feedback, you must have the right mindset. You want to be open and not defensive. Knowing that feedback can help make you better. Be gracious to the person who is giving you criticism because it might not be easy for them to tell you. Create an open, safe space for receiving feedback and afterward, thank the person who is giving it to you.
Once you hear the critique, you don’t necessarily have to take it like a bullet. It might not be 100% true, it’s someone’s perception. Ask yourself why you’re being perceived a certain way and see if there’s any truth to it. Other people’s perceptions is their reality, so if you’re coming across a certain way you can adjust accordingly so that you’re perceived in the way you intend. Sometimes it’s like a bad joke, some people get it and laugh and other people just look at you like you’re an idiot. So, make sure the way you want to come across is landing on the people you want it to. Not everyone is going to jive with you or like your vibes. It’s okay, it’s normal, we can’t please everyone. They might not get your sense of humour or the way you do things and that’s okay. Perhaps they’re just not opening up to you to let you in. Take the feedback and work to improve you, you can’t change anyone else.
I recently got criticized. Clients reported back to me that they felt that I was being quite transactional and not spending time to build the relationship. I was initially so offended because this is the OPPOSITE of what I believe, intend to do and preach! BUT, I had to look within to see why they could have perceived me that way. I was grateful for the feedback and took the thoughts away.
I did some reflecting. I thought about why they thought I was transactional. I try to be my clients advocate through the process, so, I was pushing for what they wanted. These particular clients were very reserved and non-confrontational. The way I was advocating for them made them feel like I was rushing the process for them. They wanted more time to take things away. I should’ve picked up on this and adapted the way I was working on their behalf. I could’ve slowed the process down for them instead of moving things along as they initially requested. Because they were non-confrontational and didn’t speak up, I assumed I was doing what they wanted, but in reality I didn’t pick up on the cues that they wanted to slow down.
Now, I’m aiming to be more open and kind to share my feelings with them so they get the warm and fuzzies from me. I’ve slowed things down so they feel things are going at their pace and really trying to pick up on their body language. Opening the space for further communication. It’s my job to adjust to what makes my clients feel comfortable. We both have to play off each other and learn from the misunderstanding. For me it’s a chance to improve going forward.
With some further reflection, I realized that working with a concussion was a big culprit to my more direct personality. With this concussion, I’ve been more curt and in survival mode, going thought the motions with work. My brain, instinctively, was trying to speed things up to get back to resting which affected the way I was interacting. It was tough for me to notice at the time, but Mike noticed and highlighted that I was this way and probably should be resting more and not pushing through. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. Taking this all in, I know that my concussion was a big reason for the criticism, and I should’ve taken more time to recover.
Overall I’m grateful learning a lot about myself and I hope me sharing these stories with you will help you take criticism to help improve yourself.
If you need help creating the space for feedback or learning how to take feedback with grace, send me a note. I truly want to help!