Dealing With Criticism

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Have you ever received criticism and weren’t sure how to deal with it? I know I have. 

Sometimes it’s been like a good high five. You know what I’m talking about... Like you and that person connected perfectly, and you left feeling encouraged. And.... sometimes it’s been like a bad high five and the other person accidentally slaps you in the face...

Sometimes it’s been corrective guidance: a person that loves me and loves God who helped to correct my actions or my attitude.

Sometimes it’s been constructive criticism: where a person that may or may not love me or love God says something to “help” me improve.

And sometimes it’s been destructive criticism: where a person who could care less about me criticizes me based on their own insecurities, or to simply try and cut me down to somehow make them seem superior..

However it has been delivered, it’s up to me to receive it correctly. I can either use it and improve, or abuse it and let it affect my thoughts about myself, or about the person that delivered it to me.

But, this morning I read this in the Maxwell Leadership Bible (along with my thoughts about it in parenthesis):

Consider the ways leaders should handle criticism:

1) Understand the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. (Don’t let destruction consume any of your brain space. The real estate in your brain is worth way more than what the “market” claims it is. It will limit your capacity.)

2) Look beyond the criticism to see the critic. (My favorite one, because you can never be so sure what they are dealing with. It could be affecting their words, and what they really mean as constructive could sound destructive to you. Also, what are you dealing with? Often times in moments of insecurity, we end up twisting other people’s words as well.)

3) Guard your own attitude toward the critic. (Maintain your integrity in all situations.)

4) Keep yourself spiritually in shape. Associate with people of faith. (Who you allow to speak in to your life will shape your future. Check your circle of influence.)

5) Wait for time to prove the critic wrong. (Another favorite. Sometimes the person delivering criticism has the wrong motives, the wrong information, is insecure about their own issues, or doesn’t know your character or level of integrity yet.)

6) Concentrate on your mission; change your mistakes. (Some people won’t ever understand your mission, or what God has called you to do. However, continuing to be more like Jesus will never go against your calling.)

How has criticism affected you? Have you had some good criticisms that helped shape your life, or maybe some bad ones? Maybe share a funny one? Comment below. How do you, or have you handled criticism in the past? Which one of these ways to handle criticism can you improve on?