When I was young, I toured the country in a rock band. Although our band was popular, we endured the wrath of critics. It seems that everyone has an opinion on music, and I experienced critics that worked in the media, critics in our audiences, and even critics in my neighborhood. As a professional speaker and published author, critics are still in my life. Here are 5 Cool Ideas for dealing with critics:
1. Patterned criticism can be more valuable than isolated criticism.
Isolated diatribes may contain useful information, but consider it an education when the same types of criticism arrive from different sources. One episode of criticism in February may not be as important as seven episodes in the first quarter.
2. Consider the source of the critique.
The word “critique” sounds refined and polite. Yet the process of self-discovery can be painful, especially if you have help. Who is “helping” you? Consider the source of the critique. Is the person educated or intelligent with a background on the pertinent issues? Is it a person with an agenda? Is it someone who, in his or her way, who is trying to help or is the criticism meant to be damaging and discouraging? It may be helpful to think about who is not criticizing you. For example, your boss may be offering criticism, but your customers love you. Do you even know who the critic is?
3. Anonymous critics only seem more threatening.
Anonymous critics sometimes have more vitriol and less etiquette, perhaps because the person thinks he or she will never have to face you. You will be tempted to spend inordinate amounts of time identifying the source of such comments.
4. Confrontation is your friend.
If you know who your critic is, you can confront them on the issue. Too often, however, you will be trying to change the person’s opinion about you or your work. This can be a fruitless endeavor. It may be a better exercise to confront yourself. Try re-calibrating your ego and sensitivity before trying to change someone’s mind. Besides, it is not a realistic goal to please everyone. Even the most successful people have detractors. Sometimes, the more successful you are, the more detractors you have.
5. Of course, no one can hurt you.
For more information, see my booklet, Hmmm . . . Little Ideas With BIG Results. One of the ideas is that if you are good person who does good things that no one can hurt you. The worst gossip about you cannot do you harm if you lead a good life. No one can undo your deeds with their words.