Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.

Learn How to Take Criticism

Learn How to Take Criticism

Learn How to Take Criticism

Everyone needs to learn how to take criticism.

But many people don't like to hear any criticism. There are two reasons why:

  1. Some people just hate to admit they are capable of any error. So they consider it a personal insult when anyone points one out.
  2. Some people make their critical feedback message, sound like an insult.

The way some people word their criticism is such that it is bound to be taken as an insult. So it is important to learn two things.

  1. Admit to ourselves we are capable of error. And not take it as a personal insult when anyone points out an error to us.
  2. Learn to word our criticism of others so that it does not sound like an insult, and it does sound like constructive criticism

Insult or Feedback Message?

"Critical feedback" is important information. It tells us that what we are doing is not working and that we need to change our approach.

But for some people, criticism is a painful experience. So they don't listen to the criticism and they don't accept that they need to change.

Some people cannot take criticism because they mistake all criticism as "a put down" or an insult: ie something to be avoided.

All Champions (like us) distinguish between feedback (which they would welcome) and insults (which they may ignore).

So now, please read the following examples and distinguish insults from feedback. Label each one in your mind: "insult" if you think the statement is merely a put down, or "feedback" if you think it is valuable information.

  • You are late for the meeting.
  • You are late for the meeting, that is totally unprofessional.
  • You're an idiot.
  • You keep forgetting to phone me. That is the third time in a week.
  • You have put on 5kg since your last weigh-in. (Assume you are at the doctor's surgery).
  • You are getting really fat.
  • You have an attitude problem.
  • You're a right bitch, sometimes.
  • You told Mary that thing I told you in confidence.
  • You are too late for the beginning of the film.
  • You are lazy.

What distinguishes insult messages from feedback messages?

Insult Messages

All insult messages are: Vague, subjective, opinionated, judgemental, emotional. Intended to hurt. Does NOT suggest a specific corrective action. Badly timed.

Feedback Messages

All feedback messages are the exact opposite: Specific, objective, non-opinionated, non-judgemental, non-emotional. Intended to help. Does suggest a specific corrective action. Well timed.

Summary

Remember that you need to give, and take, corrective feedback (constructive criticism). Make sure you do it correctly.

Ask other people to give you critical feedback that is:

  • Well timed.
  • Specific.
  • Objective.
  • Non-judgemental.
  • Non-emotional.
  • And it is suggestive of a specific corrective action.

Conflict Management Conflict Management Training Course Logo

Conflict Management Training

Conflict is inevitable, because people disagree. Therefore, you must be able to handle conflict situations effectively. You must know how to be assertive, clear and professional (not emotional, upset and angry) whilst in conflict. If you want to learn more on how to achieve this, please click here to see our conflict management training.

Blogs by Email

Do you want to receive an email whenever we post a new blog? The blogs contain article 5-10 minutes long - ideal for reading during your coffee break!

Your Comments

Further Reading in Conflict Management and Handling Difficult People

  • Learn How to Take Criticism
    Critical feedback is important information. It tells us that what we are doing is not working and that we need to change our approach.
    Read Article >
  • How to Deal with Conflict Situations
    Conflict is inevitable when dealing with people who do not think or act the way you believe to be correct. Learning how to handle conflict situations is important.
    Read Article >
  • Good communication skills - Distinguish feedback from insults
    Distinguish "feedback" from "insults" Occasionally you need to give feedback to other people. Giving feedback is a vital management skill. Essentially, there are two kinds of feedback message: Positive praise; which is easy to give because most people like receiving praise. Negative feedback (constructive criticism) is not easy to give because...
    Read Article >
  • How to deal with a bully at work
    Do you have a problem with a bully at work? Would you like to have the confidence to fight back? Follow these six simple steps to take control of the situation and defeat the bully.
    Read Article >
  • How to deal with a smelly person at work
    If you have the task of telling a colleague that they smell, these are the steps you need to take.
    Read Article >