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Criticism as Growth Tool


Criticism as Growth Tool – Find the Needle in the Haystack!

The natural human response is to avoid criticism. But without criticism, there’s no growth. It is easy to ignore feedback with the attitude that it doesn’t apply to you, but accepting the uncomfortable truth, even if it’s painful at first is the only way to grow. Consider the source of the feedback as you seek growth:

The Notorious Informant

Feedback from this type is intended to mean you harm! They cook up stories and spread false claims. Trying to fool you and get you to believe in things that don’t exist. Their intention is to make others suffer and crush their goal.

The Seasoned Critic

Their feedback is precious. It preserves your dignity while helping you uncover flaws. They only care about adding value and mean no harm. They are focused on your growth without a hidden agenda.

The Attacker

Their feedback does not focus on your work but rather attacks you as a person. They criticize others to feel good about themselves.

The Uselssly Vague

The don’t provide a path forward as their critique is based on conclusions and what they offer is not actionable, nor specific. If the vague criticizer hasn’t learned the art of criticism and doesn’t know how to contribute, it might be useful to ask them to expand on their comment. Unless they are open to add meaningful information, their criticism serves no purpose.

Listen to the source and reflect:  Do you want to waste energy in justifying, proving you are right and they are wrong, being defensive about the feedback or can you use that energy to implement change, discovering areas that need improvement, finding better ways of doing things?

Adopting a positive outlook will help trigger the right behavior. There’s work involved in finding a needle in a haystack – yes, that’s what useful feedback turns out to be. Seek to cut through the noise and find that one piece of wisdom that will bring value to your work. It’s more art than science and something that can be acquired only through experience.

You will make mistakes, you may feel frustrated at times, but if you keep at it, it will lead to a path of learning and growth.

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