Firefighting

Criticism: How To Take It and Dish It Out

Issue 8 and Volume 153.

Criticism. Who needs it? Actually, we all need it. We don’t necessarily like it, but we need it. The fact is, criticism helps us learn from our mistakes, and the faster we learn, the faster we progress and grow. People who criticize skillfully and tactfully help others improve skills and grow professionally. People who listen to criticism correct mistakes sooner and improve work methods more quickly. Taking criticism is difficult because we feel threatened by it. Criticism threatens our self-esteem and confidence. For many, criticism is also difficult to give. Some managers so dread giving criticism that they avoid it altogether. Avoiding needed criticism, however, is counterproductive. People need feedback on their performances. When we give feedback, we hold up a mirror that allows others to see the impact of what they are doing. Skillful criticism helps others correct mistakes and upgrade the quality of their work. Refusing to give…

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