5 Steps to Deal with Leadership Criticism

“There is only one way to avoid criticism; do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” – Aristotle

5 Steps to Deal with Leadership Criticism

It’s impossible to avoid leadership criticism. There are always people out there who have opinions on what you’ve done. If you can dismiss empty words but welcome “constructive criticism” and pay heed to what it says without feeling insulted by it, then you’ll end up a stronger person and the work that you do will be better as well. This isn’t always easy to do. Here are five steps to help you walk through this process.

1) Understand who is giving the criticism. 

This is important, because different people criticize things for a number of reasons. By looking at the person offering up the criticism, you’ll be able to determine the intent behind it. If the person is someone you respect and trust, it can lead to some healthy and valuable conversations. If the person is just a jealous co-worker, you can let them share and simply move on.


2) Prove that you’re a good listener. 

Be willing to listen to criticism. Pay attention for non-verbal communication and the tone of their voice. Say back to them what they have shared to show you understand and ask questions if something is unclear.


3) Be humble and teachable. 

It takes a big person to admit when they are wrong, have made a mistake, or just need help to improve. Listening to criticism, no matter how strongly worded it is, shows that you aren’t opposed to learning new things and that you don’t feel like you’re above everyone else.


4) Show that you’re a team player. 

You have probably heard the phrase “There’s no I in team.” This goes far beyond the basketball court or playing field. In a work-related situation, you need to be a team player who can take the constructive criticism of his co-workers, be responsible and do what is best for the group.


5) Apply what you’ve just learned. 

Successful people don’t shrink in the face of criticism. After listening, take what is needed and apply it. Don’t miss the opportunity to develop and grow.


These five steps will get you on the path to conquering criticism and using feedback to improve and become more effective in what you do.


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