If you aim to achieve personal success, you must learn this one little secret: Constructive criticism is a good thing!
Nobody likes to be criticized. I don’t like to be criticized. Criticism makes me feel bad…it rubs me the wrong way. But I must embrace it if I am to progress in my business and personal life.
What’s your first response to criticism? Do you, like most people, immediately go into defensive mode?
It’s so easy to get defensive when someone tries to tell us something for our own good.
I can remember a time, many years ago, when I saw a dear friend doing something that was not going to turn out good for her. So, being the good and loving friend that I am, I went to her and told her that what she was doing was wrong and that it would not turn out good.
I was nice and I was clear. It was obvious that what she was doing was not a good thing, so I thought she would say, “Gee thanks, I didn’t see that,” and then give me a big hug and go on her happy way.
As you have probably already guessed, that is not what happened. She got very defensive and somewhat offensive… and I lost a friend.
This is an unfortunate story. I lost a friend by telling her the truth, and she suffered for her defensiveness. She just wasn’t willing to listen to any criticism no matter how right or caring I was.
If you want personal success in whatever you do, you must avoid responding negatively to criticism and learn to listen.
When I was a young man, starting out in the construction trade as a carpenter apprentice, I had to listen to a lot of criticism. But that criticism was like gold to me. It meant learning, growing, and doing things right. No, I didn’t always appreciate it, but I did grow from it.
So fix this thought in your mind: “Defensiveness is the attitude of failures.” And for personal success, learn to take criticism as a blessing, do not get defensive, and be a good listener!