The other day while talking with one of my bosses I was told that I can come off sometimes as being pessimistic. I wasn't expecting this remark and had to think for a moment about my response. Basically my response was that yes, at times I can be pessimistic. After the meeting I started to think about my behavior over the past year, which led me to remember something I learned long ago. If we expect criticism we will seldom be disappointed when we receive it.
There are many types of criticism, and usually none of it is welcome. Destructive criticism seldom offers any value to the person receiving it and can cause them to be close-minded regarding any future criticism. While the criticism I received was presented in a constructive way, it still didn't make it easier to take. And for what it is worth, we must remember that criticism is just one person's opinion.
What is my point regarding all of this? Constructive criticism can help make us better by forcing us to stop and think about how we act, and interact with others. We need to remember that a positive, optimistic attitude will help us to build strong relationships and obtain the trust and respect of others.
Criticism is something we can avoid easily - by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing - Aristotle
I like what you've said here. It's been my experience that people who understand that criticism is important, and even seek it out, still feel uncomfortable when they receive it. It's not about feeling good about what people are saying, it's about thinking through what you've heard and deciding whether or not you plan to change.
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