Using Complaints & Criticisms to your Advantage

When you are confronted with either a complaint or criticism there can be a tendency to withdraw and question yourself, your identity or your purpose.

However, you can use feedback like this as a personal developmental tool rather than accepting it as a sensitive attack on your person.

It is so easy to be hurt by criticism, but on the other hand, false compliments can be just as destructive or unhelpful. Compliments on the other hand can make us too complacent.

When being critiqued, I try to ask myself what did I find helpful and what did I find bad? I do this to understand what I can learn from this targeted feedback. So the outcome can be what I need to keep as is, and what needs to change.

An exercise such as this is not only about establishing what has not been successful, but also about deciding whether and how to react to any given situation of criticism by clearly turning it into a positive plan of action.

I always try to ask my self with absolute honesty, which success, criticism, and/or failure was actually due to luck or misfortune? Was I the winner? Was it justified?

Making decisions in todays volatile market place and in a business world that is fiercely competitive, ‘One-upmanship’ seems to be a common culture. This is all based on a senseless survival mentality. If you haven’t come across it yet, prepare yourself because it will come.

Your measure will be judged by how you handle these situations and turn them to your advantage. You will soon learn that those who live by these standards of survival will ultimately shoot themselves in the foot.

I classify these poor survivalists as those who live by the ‘5 finger salute’ They are quick to point and apportion blame to everyone else but themselves.

  • Criticisms can become Advice when there needs to be a change
  • Criticisms can become compliments if things can remain the same but done more professionally
  • Criticisms can become suggestions if it was bad but people can live with it

In the end, more heads addressing any situation should add substantial value to outcomes.

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